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

plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery

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

Answer:
The Bible does not specifically address a Christian having plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery. There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that plastic surgery is, in and of itself, wrong. However, there are several things that one needs to consider before deciding whether or not to undergo these procedures. Altering one's body is unnatural, and there are always risks of potential side effects, both physical and psychological. No one should allow himself to be put “under the knife” without first thoroughly researching all alternatives, risks, and side effects involved with the surgery. A person also needs to fully identify his or her motivation for desiring the surgery. For many with physical deformities—whether genetic or acquired—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 himself, such as a very large or misshapen nose. But many, if not most, plastic surgeries are attempts to meet emotional voids in physical ways, to attract attention, or to seek approval from others.

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 vanity motivates a person to undergo surgery, he/she has become his/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. This is a major consideration because most people have families, 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 deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to 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. It is 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 Resources: Biblical Healing and Deliverance: A Guide to Experiencing Freedom by Chester & Betsy Kylstra and Logos Bible Software.

While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.



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