While there are many matters that are much higher priorities than tattoos, I thought you might like to hear from Dr. Bernadine Healy, the first woman to direct the National Institute of Health, former president of the American Heart Association, and the person who led the American Red Cross response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. She contributed an article in 2008 to U.S. News and World Report magazine (August 4/August 11, 2008, p. 69) entitled, “The Dangerous Art of the Tattoo.” Let me say that I am eager to study, convert, and then value and consider as a brother or sister anyone who has tattoos-no matter how many or how big the “body art” is. They are entitled to the same love and respect as any other member of God’s family.
My target audience are those who may be considering getting one or another one. Dr. Healy brings up some important issues in the article. First is the matter of tattoo “remorse.” Healy reports that “upwards to 50 percent of those who get tattoos later wish they hadn’t.” Interviews conducted by researchers at Texas Tech with those suffering such remorse cited “moving on from the past, problems wearing clothes, embarrassment, and concerns that tattoos could adversely affect job or career.”
Healy’s second concern should cause one to really take notice. There are myriad health concerns associated with both getting tattoos and having them removed. There is a toxic release of low-level carcinogens associated with removal, which in itself is said to a long and very painful process. There are allergic reactions and skin infections that can follow tattooing. Healy writes, “The FDA warns about the risk of tattoo parlors transmitting viruses like HIV and the cancer-causing hepatitis C.” MRI scans can cause tattoos to swell or burn. She says much more, and I would recommend your getting the article if you are interested in reading it.
Here is the relevant point. Anything, whether drugs, tobacco, alcohol, fornication, “overuse” of food, or ink, that hurts our bodies needs to be avoided. May we never forget what Paul told Corinth. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19). We are stewards of all God’s resources, which includes our bodies. Let us make wise and God-honoring decisions concerning them, too! Too, it is so important to try and see the far-reaching consequences of decisions we make today. We cannot know how we will feel, so we should exercise increased caution before doing something permanent to ourselves.