How To Remove Your Tattooed Lies

I saw my son fight tears that threatened to fill his eyes. Time was ticking on the computer screen and he was only halfway through his math problems. In this moment of frustration, he made a decision about himself.


I watched as he grabbed the pen next to him. He pressed the ink into his arms and ascribed what felt most true in the moment. STUPID. He committed himself to the label with big, bold letters.


It broke my heart to watch him write that ugly word on his arm. I knew it wasn’t true. I also knew marking himself in that moment probably felt like the only action that he could take.


I looked at the ink and looked at his sweet little face. I crouched down to get right up close and told him this truth, “I know you are frustrated right now, but this is not true of you.” I proceeded, “Let’s go wash this off.”


While with my son, I was reminded how often I am tempted to mark myself.  What seems most true in moments of frustration often comes in the form of a lie. I grab the pen and I start marking, because it feels like the truest thing in the moment.


In these painful moments, I long for someone to wash these tattooed lies off my soul. I want someone to hold my face and remind me what is a lie and what is the truth. In these moments I am desperate for washing.


My friend, what lies are you tempted to tattoo all over your beautiful life?


God sees us as we grab the pen and begin to write. If we allow him, he will gently turn our face and speak truth to our lie. Our own condemning words don’t get the final say, because he does.


Ephesians 1:22 (MSG) reminds us that Christ “is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything.” Christ gets the final word on every condemning word we are tempted to inscribe on ourselves. His death of the cross washes us clean and declares we can be made whole and holy by his love.


Here are steps you can take to remove your tattooed lies:


  • Confess the lie.


 What word or words are you tempted to tattoo over your life today? Confess it. Hear these words: “This is not true of you.”

Come clean. Admit to God you are desperate for a washing. Know God is delighted in your confession and your desire to seek the truth from him.


  • Remember what is true.


Ask God to speak to your heart what is true. If there is a specific word or tattoo of lies you want to remove, look for scripture that speaks specifically to it. Commit God’s truth to your heart through scripture memory or meditation.

Here are a few truths to get you started. Christ gets the final word on everything! (Eph 1:20-23) Christ loves you and calls you his friend. (John 15:14) You are chosen by Christ to live in this world and produce fruit.  (John 15:16)  The more you dig into God’s Word, the more affirming truths you’ll discover. 


  • Worship the Creator


After you remind yourself of the truth, worship! Psalm 139:14 (MSG) reads, “I thank you, High God- you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration- what a creation!” Worship is an invitation to acknowledge who God is and who he has created us to be.

No matter how many we’re tempted to grab the pen, God is right there with a better story. You are chosen, loved, and forgiven! Let God wash your lies away.


Wife Step: Pray that God will show you which lie you have tattooed on your life, and ask him to help you remove it this week.

Amy Walkup is in the final stages of completing her degree as a professional counselor. She is passionate about sitting with others in the midst of their pain and difficulties in order to find the place where God is working to bring restoration and transformation. Amy desires to see women, men, and families transformed by the grace of God. Living in rural Minnesota with her farming husband and two sets of twins, she continues to learn more about the grace of God and how this grace allows God’s children to be made new.


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