"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

– Romans 8:14

Everyone Has a Story

Recently I have become quite fascinated with a particular aspect of our generation that is growing in popularity with each year that passes.

When I was in the rec center of my school working out, I couldn't help but notice the number of people I saw with tattoos. It was difficult to find someone that didn't have some form of artwork on their arms. Seeing as I do have 3 tattoos of my own, I guess I was just one of the several people that had ink on their bodies.

It's kind of weird but most times, I'll forget they're even there. Then I'll realize when someone happens to glance down at my wrists or my forearm during conversation that they're looking at my tattoos. It was really interesting going back to my high school during the month of December and seeing people I hadn't seen since the day I graduated. But when I returned this past month, it tended to be the first thing they noticed about me. But that's exactly what I wanted them to notice.

For me, my tattoos are not only for my own personal expression, but for several other deeper meanings. They serve a purpose much greater than just "looking cool." I got my first tattoo done in Chinese so that people would ask me what it said. I don't know a whole lot of people that can read Chinese calligraphy, so usually about 99% of the people I come in contact with ask what it reads. That's pretty much an open opportunity for me to tell people that it says "God is with me always" and I am able to witness to someone my beliefs and faith in my God. It's opened up several opportunities already which wouldn't have been possible if it weren't tattooed on my arm.

My next tattoos are completely symbolic and the conversation usually begins, "so what's the meaning behind those ones?" Well let me tell you.

The Sunday after thanksgiving, I went in with my sister to go get her first,  and my second tattoo. It was a pretty awesome bonding experience for sure which wouldn't have been possible without my sister (and her wallet, don't worry I know I still owe you 50 bucks). Nothing says brother-sister bonding like getting ink permanently etched into your skin together. Anyways...the tattoos I got that session were 3 chain links on each wrist. The line I use when people ask me what they mean usually goes like this:

"The chains serve as a reminder of what I am without Christ in my life. In Romans 6:6, it says "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." Without Christ I am just a slave. A slave to all the pleasures of this world. I was a slave to everything the world holds important. But Christ has broken those chains through His crucifixion and I am no longer bonded. The chains on my wrists force me to remember what I was before Christ saved me, a sinner shackled to the world."

Deep right? Yessir. Exactly what I was going for. So when you see someone that has a couple tattoos that catch your eyes, work up the courage to ask them what they mean. I'm sure they would be happy to tell you what they mean or stand for.

[DISCLAIMER] I will not be held responsible for any behavior exhibited from the person with the tattoos or anything that might happen to you. You're on your own on that one.

I decided to write about this topic because I'm currently in the process of planning a few more that I might want to get in the future. It probably won't be too soon in the future unless money somehow finds its way into my pockets (not likely) but when getting a tattoo, I've learned that there must be a long time of careful planning and deciding if this is something you want to have on your body for the rest of your life. That's currently where I'm at. A lot of prayer will be going into these next tattoos and how they can be used in my own personal ministry (also because I have no money, there will be no ink haha). But if you even have any feeling of wanting to get a tattoo done, I encourage you to pursue it. Tattoos are becoming something completely different culturally than what they were 50 years ago.

Hope you enjoyed this post and be looking for some of the designs I'm thinking about getting in the future. Feedback would be awesome as well (hint hint, box to the right)

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