What does the Bible say about a Christian having plastic / cosmetic surgery?

Question: "What does the Bible say about a Christian having plastic / cosmetic surgery?"

The Bible doesn’t specifically address a Christian having plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that plastic surgery in and of itself is wrong. However, there are several things that one needs to consider before deciding whether or not to have these procedures. Altering one's body is unnatural, and there are always risks of potential side effects – both physically and mentally. No one should allow themselves to be put "under the knife" without thoroughly researching all alternatives, risks, and side effects involved with the surgery. A person also needs to fully understand his or her motivation for desiring the surgery. For many who were either born with or later acquire physical deformities, it is natural to want to fit into society and feel "normal." There are also cases of slight abnormalities that would cause someone to feel very uncomfortable with themselves, such as a very large or misshapen nose. But many, if not most, plastic surgeries are done as attempts to meet emotional voids in physical ways, to attract attention, or to seek approval from others.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation/lifts, liposuction (the removal of body fat), facelifts, eyelid lifts, buttock and other body lifts, leg vein treatments, botox/fat injections, and nose and face reshaping. Approximately two million people subject themselves to these kinds of procedures each year, shelling out money and sacrificing time and comfort. When the motivation of a person undergoing surgery is that of vanity, he or she has become his or her own idol. The Bible warns us not to be vain or conceited (Philippians 2:3-4) and not to draw attention to ourselves by the way we look (1 Timothy 2:9). Another concern would be the cost. Most insurance companies do not cover costs associated with cosmetic surgery, so the expenses would all come out of the patient's pocket. This is a major consideration because most people have families that have needs to be taken care of and the expense of plastic surgery should never come before the needs of the family. The Bible also tells us that we need to use wisely the money that God has entrusted to us (Proverbs 11:24-25; Luke 16:10-12).

The most important thing to do before making the decision to undergo plastic surgery would be to consult God about the issue. The Bible tells us that God cares about every worry and concern that we have, so we should take our problems to Him (1 Peter 5:7). Through the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we have the ability to make decisions that will please and honor Him. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30). Even the most skilled surgeon cannot hold back the hands of time and all cosmetic surgeries will eventually have the same result – aging. Those lifted body parts will sag again and those cosmetically altered facial features will eventually wrinkle. Far better to work on beautifying the person underneath “that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight” (1 Peter 3:4).

Recommended Resource: Biblical Healing and Deliverance: A Guide to Experiencing Freedom by Chester & Betsy Kylstra .

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What does the Bible say about a Christian having plastic / cosmetic surgery?