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The Real Meaning Behind Justin Bieber’s New ‘Grace’ Facial Tattoo

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Justin Bieber’s tattoo artist, JonBoy, recently opened up about the faith connection he shares with his clients and the real meaning behind Bieber's new "grace" face tattoo.


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To tattoo means to “to tap or mark something.” Statistically, about 38% of millennials have at least one tattoo. A once controversial art form within Christian circles can now be seen on pastors, entertainers and suburban moms and dads alike. And recently our favorite pop star, Justin Beiber, added to the ranks of tattoo’s among Christians with a simple tattoo of the word grace above his right eyebrow.

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Grace can be defined as the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. Grace is also defined as the elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action. When choosing this language, it’s ethereal nature and spiritual component makes it a virtue that could translate into a positive lifelong mantra to be placed on one’s skin. For Justin to choose this particular word, packs a potent spiritual punch.

God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness and it is by God’s love we are here for 2019!

New York tattoo artist JonBoy (or Jonathan Valena) is a volunteer at Hillsong NYC lead by Pastor Carl Lentz. Jonathan went to school for ministry, but shortly after seminary he felt God move him into the world of tattooing. Twelve years into his artistry JonBoy uses his gift to glorify God, and develop relationships with people that wouldn’t usually step into a church.

After his tattoo on Justin Bieber was finished, JonBoy posted this: “2018 was a lot of work for me. Both in tattooing and inner work I thought I would never have to face. So many times wanting to give up asking God to take me home. But then I’m reminded what my purpose in this world is through people like you who get tattooed by me and share your life of struggles, anxieties, lost loved ones, memories and victories through these little tattoos that have some of the biggest meaning behind them. Thank you. Thank you to my clients who have become some of my best friends. I love you all! God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness and it is by God’s love we are here for 2019!” —JonBoy

Whether we’ve felt like we’ve fallen from the good grace of God. Or we have triumphed over life’s hardships by grace through faith. We can agree that “Grace” is a gift.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —Ephesians 2:8.

We love how JonBoy describes the personal relationship he has with Bieber as a “human” first who needs grace just like the rest of us. His struggles and anxieties are not far from the ones we share in everyday life. JonBoy also references 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” A powerful scripture that reminds us to let God’s infinite grace overshadow and underpin our weaknesses.

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I do believe that strong statements of faith (even corporal ones like tattoos) can change the culture. A young person might look at that saying and say “Wow, I wonder what the meaning is behind it?” It can even lead someone to accept the powerful grace and forgiveness that only Christ can offer. Using an art form like tattooing for evangelism is a new concept, but can also be a conduit for an infinitely creative God to reveal himself again in our everyday lives.