Daily Devotional for Thursday April 24, 2003
Tattoos, body piercings, and cosmetic surgery....is it sin?
( Matthew 23:25,26 Luke 16:15 )
Tattoos, body piercings, and cosmetic surgery....is it sin? One of the reasons that so many get this Devotional each day is because I deal with the issues most in the church run from. Having preached in over 500 churches of all denominational affiliations, I can tell you very clearly that the churches who are doing great things for God, the churches where men and women are growing spiritually and having their needs met, are the churches where the pastor, the Shepherd, does not run from the tough issues or compromise the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
Sadly, the number one reason believers are Biblically illiterate and weak in their faith is because of the pastor of the church they attend. Unfortunately, church politics, being "politically correct", not wanting to offend people, especially a big giver, play a role in what many pastors say on Sunday morning. THIS SHOULD NOT BE SO!!! The time is too short, the eternal destination of too many people hinge on the man of God sharing the unadulterated Word without compromise.
The issue of tattoos, body piercings, and cosmetic surgery is one I get asked about daily. First, IT IS NOT A SIN TO HAVE A TATTOO, PIERCING, OR TO HAVE UNDERGONE COSMETIC SURGERY! Let us just get that out of the way up front. Nobody is going to hell for getting your belly button pierced, or having a face lift, or getting a cross tattooed on your arm. The fact is, God sees our heart. God judges our heart. It is our HEART that must be pleasing to God, the inside, not the outside. Now let me say this. Use good judgment. Pray. This is not an endorsement of these practices in any way. For those who already have tattoos, piercings, have had cosmetic surgery, that is a past action that you should feel no guilt or shame from.
For those who are considering doing this to your body, let me simply give you this counsel. It will make NO DIFFERENCE to you salvation if you do it or not. However, I do want you to pray and ask yourself why you are doing it. I do want to ask you to pray and chat with the Lord and ask Him if this is something that He would want you to do. I do want to ask you to be honest with yourself and work out in your own heart whether you are doing this for personal reasons, or just to "fit in".
The fact is, if you are a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, you already "fit in". Your value, your self-worth is in the fact that you are a child of God, NOT a child of this world. If your motives are simply to please this world, or to please those who are in this world, these are wrong motives. The ONLY one you have to please is Jesus Christ! If you are secure in who you are in Christ, and this is simply something that you want to do for you, go for it! All I ask is that you examine your heart, and ask yourself, "why am I doing this?"
I love you, and care about you so very much. I know many are struggling today, many are going through self condemnation over this issue. Have peace today. Be free today. Romans 8:1 tells us "Therefore, there is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"!!!! Amen!!! If you already have tattoos, body piercings, have had cosmetic surgery, there is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus! For those thinking about it, pray. Ask God why you are doing it. Chat with Him about it. Come to a peace about your decision to either do it, or not. I will say that you must factor in that for many you meet, this could be a stumblingblock. But at the same time, it may open doors with those who are lost, who are into this form of self statement. Let God guide your decision.
So that is why I say pray, and examine your heart and your motives. Most of all know that God is most interested in what is in your heart, on the inside, not the outside. The world sees the outside, only God sees the inside. THAT is what we all must work on each and every day! When you stand before Him on Judgment Day....a day we will all face...it is not your tattoo He will ask about, or your piercings, or your cosmetic surgery. The only thing He will ask is, "do you know my son Jesus???"
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller