Search This Blog

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lesson From A Cereal Box

When I was about 9 or 10 years old I learned a valuable lesson.
We used to get cereal boxes that came with some interesting things for kids in them.
One time we got a cereal box that had a tattoo in it that you could apply to yourself.
Yes, a tattoo.
That seems a very strange thing to give out to kids, and the design wasn't really all that thrilling.
Being a gullible child, I decided to use it.
I think I applied it on the top of my hand like when you get a stamp on the back of your hand at an amusement park.
Then I began to worry.
Was it permanent?
You see, I was ignorant about the difference between a temporary tattoo and one that is permanent.
I think I eventually tried means to scrub it off.
What seemed like fun for a short while became a stress and likely an embarrassment.
It was on there for long enough for me to learn that real tattoos might seem fun for a time, but I didn't want something that would be permanent.
The lesson that I learned then was a starting point of awareness.
I believe that people who get tattoos are acting like gullible children or rebellious teens.
They aren't looking at the long term effects.
Tattoos put people off.  Not everybody is going to be excited about your tattoos even if you are.
When you get old and wrinkled, you aren't going to look very attractive.
Tattoos are costly to try to remove and they may affect your career if you have one.
Some jobs do not want people to have visible tattoos on their workers.  It is not professional.
If you have a tattoo put somewhere invisible, what is the purpose?
If you are married or hope to be, what does/will your spouse think to have to look at that long term?

You might point out that a lot of people color their hair interesting colors at different times in their lives.
Some women paint their nails with art or have others do it for them, and many people can wear interesting fashions (Christians should be decent though) and try new hairdos.
Those things can fairly easily be changed, and when you mature, your tastes hopefully will change and mature.

A tattoo is something that might appeal to you greatly now, but in 30 years it might not suit your new tastes and fashion interests.
It doesn't matter if the design is a cross or something else.
Does that make it so much more spiritually mature, or is that an insult or immature view to the seriousness of spiritual things?

If a man desires to be a pastor or elder, or if a woman wants to set an example for younger women and teach them what is good, what are people going to emulate with that example?

For some of us, seeing people with tattoos makes us a little fearful.
You wonder if the person was/is in a gang or is a thug or worldly or just has had an immature past.
If someone has not already had a permanent tattoo put on them, I hope they will look beyond their own desires and current fashion tastes.
I realize that tattoos are only an outward thing, but often they can reflect what is internal.
The internal cleansing from sin by Christ is what is most important, and we should love those who have outer marks and blemishes.
This is just a matter of wisdom and showing mature judgment.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 
Titus 2:3-5 NASB

Let no one despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.  
1 Timothy 4:12 NASB

What do you want to be known for?
I would encourage those who don't have tattoos to think about this.
The lesson I learned from the fear of permanency of that temporary tattoo was a good thing...a lesson that came out of a cereal box.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this article. I’m going to share it with a few friends.