Written by Tadd Corder
I hope you don’t think less of me. I don’t tell you because I’m proud of it, or because I think that getting a tattoo is a great idea. I tell you because my tattoo is a testament to a time in my life when I didn’t make great decisions. We have all gone through such a time in our lives, and if we live long enough, we’ll probably make a few more bad decisions. Hopefully, they won’t be as permanent as a tattoo.
Unfortunately, too many people are making really important decisions with the same depth of thought that convinced me so many years ago that getting a tattoo would be a good idea. People are making important decisions about faith in God and His word, whom they are going to marry and whether or not homosexuality is a sin based solely on their own feelings. These people read a passage in the Bible and if it is contrary to what they already believe or what they want to believe, they simply disregard it. Such decisions are just as permanent as my tattoo, yet the repercussions of such decisions place their souls in eternal jeopardy!
Recently, my wife and I have been talking about running a 5K. Our family has even started training for it. When we discussed the length of the race I assured them that a 5K race was only about 2.2 miles. The next day my wife had done some checking and found out that a 5K was actually 3.1 miles. I assured her that this could not be right, but after doing some checking of my own I found out that I was wrong! Imagine my surprise, but, then again, we are talking about the same guy who once thought that getting a tattoo would be a good idea.
Solomon said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).” I was absolutely certain that a 5K was 2.2 miles, but I was wrong. I don’t know where I came up with my notion, and it doesn’t matter. It was wrong, in spite of how right it seemed.
Jeremiah declares that it is impossible for men to reach safe religious conclusions by relying only on themselves. “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps (Jeremiah 10:23).” Many of these same people who make important decisions without any regard for what God says reach the same point that I have reached in my life: they regret their tattoo. Yet, they do not take steps to correct the religious or moral choices they made during that time in their lives. Why is this? I mean, weren’t their religious and moral choices based on the same bad line of reasoning?
Still, other men and women do come very close to making the changes that are necessary only to be set at ease by the resounding reassurance of those who condone their practices. Paul warned Timothy that some people will only seek teachers who will scratch their ears (2 Timothy 4:3). But, finding people who agree with us is not hard. When I got my tattoo, many people that I knew thought it would be a great idea. My point is that taking religious or moral advice from people who have not demonstrated any type of knowledge or conviction is foolhardy…at best.
May God help us all to be more submissive to His word each day, and may He bless us with the depth of conviction to conform our lives to “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).”