The tattoo every Christian needs

Image: The tattoo every Christian needs

Want to leave a mark on the world? Start by making a change in yourself.

“If God meant for you to have a butterfly on your ankle,” said Dad, “He’d have put it there to begin with.” I stuck out my lower lip. “God made you this way on purpose,” he added.

I didn’t disagree with Dad’s point, it’s just that “I don’t even have a birth mark!” I refuted. “There’s nothing unique about me.” 

For years, I wanted to appear brave, be popular, and get noticed. Only instead of feeling extraordinary, I simply felt ordinary ... and I thought a tattoo might help

Do you try to stand out in order to fit in? 

Have you ever purchased clothing quite unlike your favorite style? Or used drugs or illegal drink but you don’t like it at all? Have you lied to your parents to attend certain event, or inflated your achievements to boast of where you’ve been. 

Take a minute. Think back to before and after your poor choice. Did anything change? Were true friends acquired? Were you suddenly unique or just of a different crowd? 

Unfortunately, our shallow attempts to be who we’re not - these become increasingly addictive. Insane, really - doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. 

How to really leave a mark

“A tattoo doesn’t make you unique,” said my mentor, Cathy, after I shared my frustration. “It’s how you live. It’s who you are consistently.” She nodded, “That’s why you’re remembered.” 

Cathy opened her Bible, and I’m sure I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t in the mood for a fluffy psalm. I didn’t want to hear how God knew my hair count. But Cathy didn’t turn to the middle of the Bible. She turned to the New Testament; to Romans 12:9-21. 

That afternoon, I learned if I wanted to make a good mark in the world, my only hope was to exhibit the marks of a “True Christian.” To make a mark difference in the places we leave, we must severely consider the Christlikeness in our living. 

It’s no coincidence God chose one of the greatest convicts of all time, Paul, as the man to implore us towards right-living. Unlike a tattoo which will fade, stretch, and skew, Paul provides us a with a list that will outlast everything. While these marks won’t exactly make you popular among peers, God promises the uniqueness will endure. 

Because only you can shine Christ as He made you to.

Make a change that lasts forever

When we come to believe we are loved no matter what, and we discover God’s not sorry for the way He made us, God’s steadfast love eradicates wrong mindsets. Then when we count all things rubbish compared to knowing Christ, we experience His true uniqueness.  

In his letter to the Romans, Paul calls God’s people to realign themselves. Paul encourages believers to remember Who they serve and Who they belong to. He does this by logging the marks which make a real difference; the marks which make us different in a world that has yet to know Jesus. These are the marks which prove we’re Christian and we belong to Jesus.

As you consider the following list from Romans 12:9-21, ask yourself this: How does my life measure up? Am I wearing these 'tattoos' for all to see? Invite God to help you be just exactly as He made you, and seek His help as you work towards leaving a mark that really matters.

  • Abhor evil. Hold fast to good.
  • Love one another. Show honor.
  • Do not be slothful. Be fervent in Spirit. 
  • Serve God and Rejoice in Hope. 
  • Be patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.
  • Contribute to others’ needs and show hospitality.
  • Bless those who persecute you.
  • Rejoice and mourn with those who do.
  • Live in harmony. Do not be conceited.
  • Do what is honorable in everyone’s sight.
  • Live peaceable with all. Do not take revenge.
  • Overcome evil with good.

Comments (5)

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  • user

    Josiah

    So are you saying getting a tattoo is bad? In Leviticus 19:28 says not to mark your skin, or was talking about something else?

  • user

    Kelly

    Thank you for the comment, Josiah. In response, no - my intent of the article is not to say tattoos are bad. In fact, many of my friends and family have them. However, the awesome thing about the Holy Spirit, is that He reveals our heart motive in all our actions. Thus, as for Leviticus 19:28 - this is one of many verses if, taken word for word, would radically change our lives. My belief, which is always going to be imperfect, is that in each our personal walks with Jesus, we know what is right or wrong in our own hearts, and we are to concern ourselves with just this (and not what’s right for others). I suppose once I can say that I love my neighbor as myself, am gracious in speech, and upright in all my ways… then we can consider these tinier issues which so sadly cause division. One last thing: 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that the LORD looks on the heart and not what man looks at. When God looks at you, He sees Christ, and all things good and great that come with! If you want to discuss further, I’d be glad to email with you!

  • user

    Josiah

    But wouldn’t the main point of getting a tattoo be to show that you’re rebellious? Because why else would you get a tattoo they’re expensive and once they’re there they cost a lot of money to remove.

  • user

    Kelly

    While rebellion may be ONE reason persons choose to get a tattoo, I know many who have a certain word which reminds them of their salvation or freedom in Christ. Some tattoo verses or images to pray for loved ones. My sister is a wife of a police officer and her tattoo is to honor those fallen in duty. You and I may not feel compelled to get a tattoo, but it’s always a good idea to hear peoples’ stories and ask them questions and learn their testimonies before assuming they’ve made a poor, or even sinful, decision. The most important thing is loving others as Jesus did, and focusing on how Christ removed all of our unlovely ‘marks’ because of His perfect life and sacrifice.

  • user

    Josiah

    That is really good to know.
    Thank-you!