For nearly 10 years I have wanted a tattoo. At first it was a cross on my back, and I very nearly got it one night while I was interning in Alabama. The last few years it has changed to something on the inside of my left wrist. For the last 18 months strong it has been the bridge of a certain song. It means alot to me, and it serves as a reminder in my life.
If you happen to look at my left hand, inside the wrist you will note that there is no tattoo there. Why, you may be apt to ask, is that so? Straight up fear. Not fear of the permanence of a tattoo. Not fear of the needle. Nope, fear of my dad.
My dad sat my sister and I down one evening when I was around 11. Several of my sister’s high school friends were getting ankle tattoos of a rose to celebrate their upcoming graduation. My sister had asked my dad what he thought of that. My father, being a highly opinionated man, told us what he thought. “There are two kinds of people in this world with tattoos. Sailors and whores. Now, are you two joining the Navy?“To say that stuck with me is an understatement, since it’s 20 years past and I still fear my dad’s reaction to getting a tattoo. (Sidenote: My dad is very traditional and came from a strict, religious household…)
In a step towards getting a tattoo this year, I had my ears pierced over the holidays. I thought if I was going to go through the pain of tattooing I should probably also have my ears pierced. One evening while I was thinking about that conversation it struck me, I do the same thing with God. I live in fear of my past. I fear that He is just waiting to repay me what I did back in 2001, that when He finds out, I am done for.
Fear does not bring me to God but it pushes me from Him. It makes me run in the opposite direction and believe He is full of wrath and anger, rather than the loving picture I should have of Him. This kind of fear, an unhealthy, unfounded one…that’s not from God. It’s deceptive and a lie. It breeds contempt for God rather than awe and respect. When I carry that fear, I put a divide between God and myself that I continue to build upon.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
What is fear lying to you about today?