Yesterday I saw a young man doing landscape work at a building I used to work in. I knew him years ago as the young son of the head landscaper for the grounds there. Now full grown, he sports a beard and arms covered with tattoos. I thought about tattoos.
These days, nearly a quarter of Americans from age 18 to 50 sport permanent tattoos. They represent everything from gang allegiances to memorials for lost loved ones. A little research shows that mummies have been found with tattoos dating back thousands of years. The word "tattoo" actually comes from Samoa. The practice was common in the Pacific island nations and that is where sailors picked it up in the 1700's. I've often wondered how people deal with the inevitable regret that must sometimes come with a tattoo that may have outlived its message (perhaps a change of girl friends or gang membership). I suppose the very permanence of the work shows commitment to its message. In that sense, we who love Jesus, bear His tattoo. It isn't a work of ink in the outer skin, but a seal etched on our heart by the Holy Spirit. It's presence isn't always obvious to an observer's eye, but with time it should display through the believer's attitudes and actions. I'm glad that it wasn't necessary for me to get a tattoo when I accepted Christ as my savior and I'm glad that He has marked His presence in my heart with the seal of His Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit.