Many people pierce their ears, noses, tongues, and other parts of their bodies as part of fashion. This has become a cultural trend that everyone who is into fashion does. However, to some people, piercings mean more than fashion to them. Piercings are seen as symbols of identity, rebellion, or adornment. How true are their beliefs? What does the Bible say about piercings? Do piercings have any spiritual implications? As we delve deeper into this topic, we will reflect on how piercings affect our faith, our identities, and our desire to honor God.
In certain communities, piercing is done as a form of expression and identity. Other communities do it as a rite of passage. In this context, when the people in that community reach a certain age, their ears are pierced during the initiation period. Just as circumcision in most communities symbolizes a rite of passage from one stage of life to another, piercings mean the same to communities who practice them.
The piercings prove that one is now an adult and responsible for their actions. However, it is important to ask ourselves whether our maturity is measured by external alterations or whether it is rooted in our relationship with God.
According to them, piercings offer them a sense of being part of their community. It is good to feel a sense of belonging and to have a community you can trace back your roots to. But it is also important for us to acknowledge the fact that true acceptance is found in Christ, regardless of external appearances.
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Our identity is defined by our obedience to the teachings of Christ. We are God’s children and heirs to His kingdom and we identify with this kingdom through faith, obedience, holiness, and humility.
What Does the Bible Say About Piercings?
The Bible is not specific on whether piercings are sinful or not. However, the priests in Israel were warned against cutting any part of their bodies.
“Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies. They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the food offerings to the Lord, the food of their God, they are to be holy.”Leviticus 21:5-6
The priests were asked not to cut themselves but to uphold holiness. Does this mean that piercings are associated with paganism or ungodliness? We will find out about this from the Scriptures.
Moreover, in Leviticus, God asked Moses to talk to the Israelites about various laws that would help them walk in holiness and avoid being corrupted by the practices of their neighboring countries. One of these laws included a warning against cutting themselves.
“Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”Leviticus 19:28
Why were the Israelites warned against piercings? Is piercing completely forbidden by God?
The Bible Warns Against Blindly Following the Trend
While piercing yourself, did you do it because you want to or did you do it because your best friend looks good with piercings? We live in a world where people glorify things and activities that are trending. So, if you do not do it, you are seen as someone who is still living in the dark. But as Christians, we know what it means to walk in the light and to walk in the darkness.
We are children of the light and Jesus is the way and the light. Walking in the light is not following the trend of falling for peer pressure, but walking in the footsteps of the real light; a light that illuminates the whole world.
While it may not be bad to pierce yourself, do not do it out of peer pressure. Let your mind be renewed by the word of God which is new every morning. It is not a trend that fleets or some kind of fashion that fades with time but a word that reveals itself in new forms every morning.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”Romans 12:2
The spark in God’s word is the same today, tomorrow, and forever. God’s Word helps us know if what we want to do is good or not. Rather than conforming to fleeting trends, let us allow God’s word to transform our minds and renew our strengths and joys every morning.
Do Piercings Overshadow Your Love for God?
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world.”1 John 2:15-16
While piercings are not sinful, we must be cautious not to devote our hearts to them. The allure of physical beauty can sometimes overshadow our pursuit of God’s heart. As we do it, let us do it like how we handle any other task. If the piercings make us love our bodies more than we love God, then we may drift away from the path of light.
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We should handle it just the way we do when we go to the bathroom to take a shower, dress nicely, and go on with other daily tasks. Whether we do it or not, our love for God should be our main priority.
The Bible Advocates for the Sanctity of the Body
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
As Christians, we are called to serve and honor God through our bodies. Piercings may not defile our bodies when we do it to look good. However, we must watch out for the intentions behind the piercings. Are we doing it so that we can provoke others sexually? When we use piercings to defile the sanctity of our bodies, we dishonor the Lord who bought us with the blood of His Son. Do not trust in your beauty or use it to lure others to sin, (Ezekiel 16:11-16). This will anger the Lord and make Him punish us as He did with the Jerusalem who used her beauty to become ‘adulterous.’
Moreover, we must be careful not to harm our bodies when we consider piercings. Our bodies are temples of God and we must look after them with care, compassion, and wisdom. Let us not put our bodies at risk of danger or things that can hinder our normal body functioning.
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The Bible Teaches Us to Focus on Inner Transformation
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7
While this verse does not mention anything to do with piercings, it communicates a very important message that we cannot ignore. As we consider piercings to enhance our looks, we must not forget to work on the beauty of our hearts. God looks at our hearts and is attracted to us by the purity of our hearts. We can beautify our hearts by walking in righteousness, being kind, humble, compassionate, and forgiving, and by devoting ourselves to the works of the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 3:3-4 reads, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Are working on the beauty of your heart the way you are working on your physical appearance? As Christians, our transformation is not just outward but inward.
Piercings are a symbol of beauty. Several passages in the Bible mention jewelry, nose rings, and earrings, as tools for beauty and adornment. Thus, piercings are not sinful. How you use them and your intention for using them is what may make them sinful.
As we seek to find out what the Bible says about piercings, let us consider the states of our spiritual beings. The Bible does not prohibit piercings and the warnings to the Israelites in the book of Leviticus were warnings against pagan practices that were practiced by their neighboring countries.
However, we are called to look beyond physical appearances and consider the motives behind our choices. Whether we choose to pierce ourselves or not, our choices should align with God’s will for us. In everything we do, we must do it for the glory and honor of Him who wonderfully created us in His image and likeness.