Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is it true that tattooing is a sign of permanent enslavement (Exodus 21:5-6)? Why do we accept ear piercing? I have made a million mistakes in my lifetime. Thank God, He forgave them all. But some of my old sins are my tattoos. He cleansed me! I want to live in Him and feel clean as He threw my sins into the sea of forgetfulness. Yet, I see my tattoos as a constant reminder. I feel like they are my chains. God loves us all, and I can feel His love with me. How can I live with these tattoos while always fearing judgment of others?

Do not be disheartened. There are three avenues which may help you to deal with your feelings. One is to have these tattoos removed through laser surgery, which is supposed to not cause much scarring. (You will need to investigate this possibility with specialists in this area more thoroughly). The second means is to keep them covered by wearing long sleeve clothing. The third way is a spiritual one which will remain with you no matter what you decide about what to do with these tattoos. They will always be with you in some way. It is a conscious reflection on God's love and mercy for changing your life. No matter the sin, the joy in knowing God helped you find your way back to Him is embodied in this mirror once reflecting previous sins, but now it is a reflection of Christ's forgiveness and love. The prophet David says in Psalm 51:3 "For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me."

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