just like a tattoo.

It’s 2am. I’m so tired but can’t go back to sleep. There are thoughts, so many, blurred and convoluted. There is flooding mere miles away, people I love are hurting, things are crazy. But that’s not why I’m posting this, uhm, morning.

I’m tired of religion. Throughout my life I have always been under some kind of pressure to meet a specific standard, follow rules, chain myself to theologies and doctrines for fear of not living a righteous enough life. If I didn’t carry the heavy burden of these manmade standards, I was looked upon as one who had fallen away. I didn’t fit into their normal so they classified me as untouchable.

Everyone everywhere has done this in some fashion. I’ve done it countless times to others. We think we do it out of concern for their wellbeing. We tell ourselves that God holds us to a standard and we should therefor hold each other to those standards as well. We hold our opinions close to our hearts, so close they begin to be absorbed into our relationship with God.

I do not believe he judges me. Maybe that shocks you but I think you can reason this out with me. If we say that our sins were handled on the cross, that God now looks at us through the person of Jesus Christ and all he did, then in Gods eyes I am his dearest one, his beloved, his perfect intention for his creation.

I make mistakes. He knows that. He is grace-filled and his “burden” is not that at all. It is a perfect blend of love and grace. There is nothing I can do that can make him love me more or less. Do I really think myself so important that by my very actions and thoughts I can convince the God of the universe that I’m suddenly not worth loving or saving? His heart is grieved by these attitudes. Can’t you feel it?

I’m getting a tattoo tomorrow, well, today. And I cannot understand why you think that you can ever fulfill the ‘command’ of loving your neighbor if you condemn and despise a fellow believer. This is what I’m choosing for myself and I’m not hanging my salvation on it, and neither should you.

Cut out the law, if that’s what you’re living by and for. Please, for Jesus’ sake, try to comprehend how high, how deep, how vast, how wide, how unending is the love of God.

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4 thoughts on “just like a tattoo.

  1. Didn’t know you had a blog. I have found my thoughts moving in a similar pattern lately. especially in regard to intolerance among Christians, and most especially in myself. God loves the people, not their lifestyle nor their sins. Therefore to be like Christ we must also love the people regardless. And we can’t show God’s love if we keep people at the end of a ten foot pole. Their sin we cannot become part of, but we must not throw the person out with the sin. Sorry, I kinda rambled on your blog. I will never get a tattoo. too many negative connotations within my own mind, scriptures aside. My cousin and brother never could give me a good reason for their tattoos. I don’t know what your reason for getting one is, but please make sure it is more than a desire to break out of the mold you have been expected to fill.
    Yours truly,
    Joel F.

    • Hey Joel, thanks for “making me think.” I really can appreciate your thoughts on this and I have had similar processes lately. To assuage your concern, I’m not getting a tattoo to buck against the standards I have harshly spoken of in this post. I am getting text on my skin that represents something that is in my heart. It is a phrase that is very personal between Jesus and myself.
      I also disagree with the rebellious attitude that so many of us fall into when trying to live outside the religion box. Jesus and I are talking at length about how to avoid this within my own life. Thank you for bringing it up.

  2. As one of the erudite, thoughtfully quiet people I know, perhaps you can explain your reasoning behind why you wish to get it tattooed. I can empathize about a phrase being very precious, or a symbol have special meaning. The thought process by which you decide to have it permanently inked under your skin is the one I don’t follow. As a badge of honor I can understand. An eagle, globe and anchor I would wear, if it were not also a thing of pure pride. Of which i have too much of without such a tattoo. I have a whole train of thought as to why I would never have something I hold precious between myself and God tattooed on my skin. If you want to hear it let me know. I don’t want to seem like I am trying to push you out of getting a tattoo, I just want to know the whys and wherefores. Your thought process. No one I have ever asked has been able to give me a good answer. It normally is along the lines of “Because it’s cool, man,” or “It looks cool, dude.” I ask why is that, the reply is along the lines of I dunno, it just is, man. At which point the baleful glare, grinding teeth bared in a grimace and abortive strangling gestures tend to scare them off. Lol. Sorry, I need to go to bed. Good night.

    • Joel, I have taken a while to get back to you and I apologize for that. Life, you know.
      In reference to your question in the previous comment, I would ask you a question in return: why is it important for you to know my reasons? I’m not being over sensitive, but after getting the tattoo, I realized that I am not a person who regularly opens herself up to scrutiny. I am not accustomed to it and can’t appreciate the attitude behind it, regardless of what it is.
      My reasons are personal, and I’m not trying to get out of answering your question, I just don’t see how my reasons should be projected onto you. What makes a tattoo a major decision for you? Why do you feel that everyone who gets one needs a reason? Furthermore, why is it important for their reasons to be acceptable to you?

      I hope you do not take any of this as defensive or offensive. I don’t mean to be harsh. If any of this is offensive to you, please disregard all of it. I hope we can continue to have these types of discussions in the future, though it may not sound like it from my words.

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