Joyce Meyer Ministries

Joyce Meyer shared that at the age of 79, she received her first tattoos. “It’s really a neat story. I don’t know if I can get the whole thing outright. But [the tattoo artist] had gone through the most hellish thing.” After noting that the artist suffered from bipolar disorder, Meyer added, “And then a bunch of religious Christians got him convinced that because he was a tattoo artist, he was going to Hell. When he heard me say that I wanted to get a tattoo that said, ‘I belong to the Lord,’ or ‘I belong to Jesus.’ He said he decided to go back into business,” Meyer shared. The tattoo artist that did tattoos for Meyer and her husband, Dave, was inspired by a 2018 talk Meyer gave when she stated that Christians who condemn tattoos are taking the Bible out of context. “I have a nice little cross [on my back]. And it says, ‘I belong to Jesus.’ And just for good measure, I put love on my foot to remind me to walk in love,” Meyer said. She said the tattoo artist told her that she and Dave “were the oldest people he had ever tattooed.”

Meyer noted there would be critics of her decision. “The whole thing is it’s between me and God. And it’s a matter of my heart. And when I stand before God on Judgment Day, before He makes any decision about me, He’s not going to call any one of you and say, ‘Is there anything you’d like to add about Joyce?’” She added that others could disagree, “But I have a right to mine too. … I wanted the devil to know I belong to Jesus. He bought me and paid for me with His blood. I am not my own. I am seriously committed and dedicated to God. And I am not going to let some snooty religious attitude keep somebody else out of Heaven.” She cited Isaiah 49:16 to support her view, which says, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted or tattooed a picture of you on the palm of each of my hands.”

The permissibility of tattoos on Christians has been a source of controversy for years. They remain very popular amongst Americans, with 1 in 5 reporting they have at least one. In an article on Crosswalk, writer Will Honeycutt discussed 7 considerations Christians should have when it comes to tattoos. First, he noted that the Bible does not specifically use the word tattoo as it did not come into existence as a word in the English language until the 1700s. Contextually, the Bible seems to forbid ritualistic markings that were common amongst the pagans that lived nearby. With the Bible not specifically prohibiting the practice of tattoos as they are in modern culture, Honeycutt says Christians should take into consideration things such as modesty, motivation, and messaging. After detailing the considerations, Honeycutt urges Christians to “Please, think before you ink. Don’t make this decision hastily or rashly. Use these guiding questions to think through your decision. Discuss them with mature Christian adults you trust.”

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