There is a question that I have noticed alot of christians struggling with and I have struggled with it alot over the past couple years and it is this: now that we are under the new covenant what rules should we continue to follow? For example: is cutting your hair/beard a sin? Is eating pork still wrong before God? What about tattoos? What about our love lives?
God has been revealing alot of his grace to me lately and so I know that condemnation is no longer an issue in these questions but I still continued to ask, “How do we know your will on these issues? Surely we cant just go through life doing what we think is best because of grace! I know you will still love and care for us if that is what we do but God I want to do what you want me to do.”
So how does grace relate to our walk and these daily questions we have?
In our new lives under grace “all things are allowed for us but not all are beneficial.” In this new convenant anything that brings glory to God is beneficial for us and for the rest of the world.
But how do you know if something glorifies God?
God told me to ask myself these three questions:
1. Does this reveal something about who God is?
2. Is this something I can be proud of or something I feel the need to hide from other christians?
3. Does this edify me? (bring me closer in my relationship with God)
Lets think about this concerning a romantic relationship. You could ask yourself:
1. Would beginning a relationship with this person reveal God to those who see us? Am I at a point where I can show Gods love to this person in a consistant and pure way?
2. Would I introduce this guy to my church family? My parents? My grandparents or even great grandparents? Would my friends be proud to call him my boyfriend? (while you shouldnt base your choices entirely on what the world says I am revealing the fact that the christians around us can give us advice and cues that we wouldnt get otherwise. Also we are a model of Christ to the world and if they cant see him in our actions how else will they?)
3. Will being in a romantic relationship pull me farther from or closer to God? Is this man ready to edify me when it comes to spiritual areas?
And then there is the all important question of “to tat or not to tat?”:
1. Does this tattoo I have in mind reveal something about God? (It doesnt have to be a cross or a bible verse. It could be anything beautiful and pure or encouraging. If someone asks you what does your tattoo mean or why did you get it that could be an opportunity to share a little bit of who God is to you. For example I want to get some mallow flowers tattooed on my shoulder and they mean I am utterly consumed by your love. It reminds me that Gods love covers my every moment. This is a testament to how Gods love chases us and covers our sins <3)
2. Do you feel comfortable telling your folks, your spouse or your grandparents you have a tattoo? will getting a tattoo cause someone else who feel convicted not to get a tattoo to get one when they shouldnt? (consider those around you and how your choice will affect them. Even though the choice is yours your choices affect the world and its view of Gods character)
3. Does this tattoo bring you closer to God or remind you of the beauty of knowing him?
These questions are so practical and the really interesting thing is that everyone will come to different conclusions. Your choices are between God and yourself. One person may be able to glorify God with a tattoo and others may not. Some may be ready for a relationship and others may not.
I am certainly NOT saying there is no absolute right and wrong. THERE IS. I am simply saying that the key is to not be legalistic, but graced. They key is to live under the new testament of freedom and relationship and not the old of laws and letters. Whether the A is captitalized for you or not isnt the issue. The issue is your heart and your reflection. Let God work in you and use you the way he will. He knows the people he has called you to touch and the places you will go. Listen to Him.