Covering Up Tattoos

I was asked to respond to the following question:

If before being a Christian, you get a tattoo. One in visual site, maybe say the devil? Then you become born again. And over time you realise its wrong. Its sinful. What do you do? Do you get a tattoo to cover it up? But that would be sinful.. do you just cover it up?

I’ll address the rights and wrongs of tattoos another time. Briefly, however, I think the Christian ought to avoid such markings, based on such texts as Leviticus 19: 28:

“‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”’

I do know of someone who had inked onto his arm a naked woman. Upon becoming a Christian, he had a frock tattooed onto her. As tattoo parlours are now so popular and our sense of sexual modesty declines, this question may become all the more pertinent.

Though I rather like the designs of modern tattoos, I believe that permanently marking the body is an unspiritual, ungodly adornment of something God made. Doing so in an especially scandalous way adds further shame in which the pagans love to delight. Nevertheless, there is grace enough in Christ’s bosom and power in His cross to remove all guilt from such things. Unfortunately for us, such grace does not relieve us of sin’s temporal consequences. A smoker may repent of the tobacco leaf’s snare, but this won’t stay the cancer’s deadly touch. Likewise, two young lovers might have an exciting night, but in the more rational light of morning, the regret and repentance swiftly appear. Very good, but the life in the womb may now already be there, and no tears will reverse this.

So to someone asking the question about tattoos, my advice would be to leave them well alone but keep your arms or relevant body parts covered. If they are especially offensive, I would not pay another tattooist to inject more ink into the skin. If lasers cannot remove them, I’d simply hide them under clothing. Out and about on hot days will be uncomfortable, but the Christian life is not about ease and comfort, but service and obedience.

Image by ilvetattoos from Pixabay