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Asking Questions


Here’s where I landed on Botox

2.28.2023 • 10 Comments

Today, we’re getting super transparent on the blog all about the topic of beauty and alterations. I recently had a DM asking whether a cosmetic procedure the person was considering was sinful. And truthfully, I can’t answer that for you, but I can share some thoughts that I hope will bring clarity to this topic and point you in the direction of what to pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom on.

I also wanted. to share this post because I think a lack of transparency on this topic is crushing women today for two reasons:

  • A lack of transparency allows a root of pride to take place. When we have some work done and now compare ourselves to someone who has more wrinkles, a wider nose, or darker under-eye circles, it’s easy to take pride in something that wasn’t inherently ours to take pride in. We’ve lost all gratitude for something that was quite possibly a privilege to do and that gives us an entitled spirit. I am very grateful for so many friends who are quick to share their enhancements instead of pretending it’s natural. It is refreshing to hear a friend say, “Oh no, girl, these are extensions! My hair is thin/doesn’t grow/etc.” instead of just acting like it’s natural. Just a few weeks ago I had lunch with some friends and the topic came up and it was a sweet transparent and judgment-free zone. 
  • A lack of transparency allows for more irrational and harsher comparisons. When people in their 20s start getting botox and you’re nearing 40 and haven’t even mastered putting SPF on every day 🙋‍♀️, the gap can feel even greater than a mere 20 years. And as much as the “Jesus answer” is to simply not compare ourselves to others, it’s much easier to be content in the Lord when we realize that we’re irrationally comparing apples and oranges. What’s that phrase? Don’t compare someone else’s middle to your beginning. I think the same holds true: Don’t compare someone’s botox’ed forehead to your untouched skin. It’s just silly. And when things are transparent, we’re better able to jump back into reality. 

Here's where I landed on Botox by Valerie Woerner

So, I think transparency on this topic could really help, but here’s the obvious reason why I don’t think we have much transparency: 

We fear being judged for our choices. 

The thing is, though, this issue of whether to get Botox or filler or whatever other procedure your considering, is not a main tenet of the church. Our old pastor used to say there are things we will die for, fight for, argue for, and talk about, and wisdom is knowing the difference. 

I am not going to die on the hill of whether or not a procedure is a sin, but I will for the fact that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. 

I do think the issues of beauty come with personal convictions, and I’ll share mine below. But I think we need to start with this realization and be really careful with how we judge other people’s decisions. I recently read Respectable Sins, by Jerry Bridges, and it’s basically a bunch of chapters on all the sins we deem acceptable as Christians. Judging was one of them. 

I’ll be honest, I have always had a more critical spirit because I tend to follow the rules to the T. But the Lord has been growing me tremendously in this area and thankfully, I have a deeper empathy and less judgmental spirit now than I ever have before. And I now see how judging someone else’s decisions can be just as sinful as the sin we see in someone else’s life. And more than that, if it’s one of these issues where what someone is doing is not a sin, our judgment is far worse than what we are condemning in someone else. 

So today I’m simply sharing my own convictions. 

I have no hopes of convincing people to make their list exactly like mine. Instead, I hope it will encourage anyone to think critically about this topic and know why you do what you do. And not just think critically, but allow the Holy Spirit to convict you if there’s anything you’re currently doing that may be a hindrance between you and God.

Because that’s the biggest reason we don’t want to neglect tuning into the Spirit. If something for us is disobedience to what God is calling us to or convicting us about, our best place to be is in full obedience to Him! Our disobedience doesn’t cause us to lose our salvation if we are Christians, but it does greatly hinder our intimacy. So this is 100% worth taking the time to think and pray about. Below is where I’ve landed, but I am still taking this post as a chance to ask God to search my heart if anything has changed. There are some questions at the end of the post that can help with that if you want to do the same. 

Related: 6 things that distance us from God

Convicted to say no to: 

Elective plastic surgery and permanently altering my facial features. This doesn’t mean I don’t have certain features I would like to change, but I believe God created me and I want to honor what He created. Again, for me personally, making elective alterations would remind me of trying to tell the potter how to mold the clay (Isaiah 45:9-10). I also feel convicted that raising two girls who have some of these features and trying to convince them they are beautiful while altering that same feature would make me feel phony. Instead, I want to value how God made me and find contentment in Him. 

Convicted to say no to, mostly for health reasons:

Botox. Oh y’all, can I just say I’d love not to have bags under my eyes? It’s hard to see other women my age with perfect skin and know my own smooth skin could be just a few needles away. With all my issues with toxins/mold and how it’s caused issues in my health, I don’t think it’s worth it to try Botox even if it is deemed safe.

Not interested in it for pride reasons:

(A lot of these could be pride issues, but most fall into other categories too. The two I’m mentioning here are not things I’m skipping for health reasons or personal conviction.)

Lashes and extensions. It seems like extensions and lashes are having a moment. I think we’ve all seen the “glow up” of Instagram influencers, and for me personally, I know if I chose to do these things, the only reason would be to keep up with the Jones’s. It would be for pride reasons, and feeling the need to do what I see others are doing. 

Not interested in for maintenance/time:

Filler. When I tell someone I don’t want to do Botox, filler inevitably comes up. For me, I don’t want to do anything that requires upkeep to the point that I can’t stop, or if I did, whatever I was “filling” will look even worse than before. I know myself. I would dread going to appoinments and skip them and end up back where I started. Also, I could totally see something like this becoming an idol in my life as I analyze my skin and new places that could use filling.

Nails. On a less serious level, I don’t get my nails done regularly because I don’t actually like sitting there getting them done and always feel like it’s a waste of my time. Many of my friends find it relaxing and the perfect “me time” but I’d rather my me time be reading a book on my porch or a massage. 

Things I have done: 

I’m no beauty blogger, so I don’t imagine many of you are needing to know what I’m doing, but after all that transparency talk, I’m obviously going to share what I have done: 

  • Invisalign. This is the most permanent thing I’ve done and I’m so glad I did it! I have a small mouth and teeth crowding and some overbite issues so correcting this a few years ago was a blessing. 
  • Dying gray hair. After losing a ton of hair the last two years from health issues, it’s coming back which is great, but it’s coming back gray and I’m just not ready to go gray! I have a feeling I will at some point but at 38, I’ll dye my hair (with an at-home box 🤦🏻‍♀️) every few months for the foreseeable future. 
  • Self-tanner. I honestly don’t do this much and haven’t all winter, but I will do this for my pasty white legs once summer hits or on my face before family photos. 
  • Facials. I had my first one last week! This is something I will likely do in lieu of more medical options simply because I see this as taking care of my skin which I honestly haven’t done the best job of over the years. I’ve never consistently worn SPF daily. 😱
  • Makeup. I mean. Y’all know I do this but had to include it. 
  • Skincare.  I do purchase high-quality clean products, like BeautyCounter

As I said, your list doesn’t need to look like mine, but I do challenge you to confirm with the Lord and have peace about what you do choose. 

Here's where I landed on Botox by Valerie Woerner

Here are some questions to think and pray through if you want to prayerfully consider what decisions to make:

1. Am I using my body in a way that shows that my body is my god? Or am I using my body in a way that shows that God is more precious than my body? (John Piper)

2. Do I trust God? Do I believe God blew it with me? (John Piper)

3. How much time and energy should I be putting into my body and appearance? Am I putting more emphasis on the inward appearance or the outward? Proverbs 31:30 says “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

4. The average woman spends $877 a year on beauty. How much money should I be putting into my body and appearance? Is the amount I spend on beauty proportional to my giving? I’m not here to tell you where that line is because I haven’t found it in the Bible, but I think we’ll know as we ask God for wisdom on the matter.

Can I ask a crazy question? Will you share your lists with us? No judgment? Like, can we just normalize everyone else having different convictions?

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Comments (12)

. I’m so glad this is been talked about. I think Botox is something that i see creeping in to Christianity and been acceptebut the best Bible says that the norm is the ways of the world and scripture tells us not to be confirmed to the ways of this world. I myself was brought up in a very unloving home and never felt beautiful loved or valued and as i started to become an adult i found my worth in my looks ,i am now in my late 40s and i have gone through a lot of suffering because my looks are not what they used to be and i have been tempted to get Botox but i prayed about it and i didn’t feel a peace about getting it because it would be a quick fix for me it would be like cutting off the branches but not dealing with the roots and the roots for me are trauma resulting in shame and low self image and rejection issues, now i know not everyone who gets Botox has these type of issues. But I do believe we need to look at our motives for getting it, are we doing it to get accepted and loved by the world ? And are we doing it because we don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t look wrinkle free ? And if so then the bible says this is sin and that jesus can set us free from this sin. I remember once having an experience with the lord when i was struggling with my looks and i remember just feeling and experiencing an out of this world feeling of been beautiful and i knew it was nothing got to do with my looks, it was like I was in another realm and i remember just feeling so beautiful and so deeply and passionately loved and important and i could hardly put words on it to explain it because it was so powerful and it was the lord showing me you think it’s your looks that makes you feel desired and accepted and loved but it’s not if you really knew your true worth and knew how much deeply and passionately I love you then your looks wouldn’t bother you so it was from that day that i started to realise it was not a body or face issue it was a false identity and false god issue.
I know plenty of people who get Botox and who are Christians but it’s not my job to judge. We are all at different growth stages and we are all a work in progress and god works with us where we are at but i do believe when we read god’s word and develop fruits and spend time with the lord and have intimacy with him that we will start to see the only truth of what truly satisfies us and that’s him and his presence and amazing unconditional love.

Thank you so much for sharing such personal thoughts and convictions on this issue that is becoming more mainstream, Lisa! I love getting a glimpse into how you have processed this!

I came to faith in a church that emphasized modesty. Not wearing makeup, jewelry, pants or nail polish became a source of pride. We assumed other Christian women weren’t as spiritual because they gave more time and energy to their outward appear. Thankfully, I’m no longer a part of that tradition and have been working to renew my mind. I’ve come to realize that caring for my outward appearance, adorning myself and looking nice for my husband are good and bring glory to my heavenly Father.

Thank you for this article! Such good reminders. Here’s where I’ve landed:

I get Botox very conservatively and don’t alter my appearance in the sense of lifting eyebrows or anything of that nature.

I don’t feel peaceful about fillers.

I got breast augmentation. My boundary was that I evened out to a natural size (I was noticeably two different sizes after nursing children which isn’t a horrible thing; it was just something I elected to even out). I did not feel peaceful about having attention-grabbing breasts that would be noticeable and distracting to others. It’s only for my husband to see 🙂 I do not feel peaceful about altering features like my nose, etc.

I get occasional facials and get nails done once a month. I invest in a higher-priced retinol but my other skincare products are inexpensive from Amazon.

I really do aim to honor the Lord in the balance I find ❤️

Wow! I love this post and the questions, especially “Is the money I spend on beauty proportional to my giving?”

Being in the beauty industry in my 40s, I’m in a super small minority of people who have NOT had Botox. I wrestle with the fact that I want it, but think the clients I work with when I teach makeup lessons appreciate that I hold the tension with them of wanting to look their best using non-invasive methods like skincare and makeup.

My list- I don’t do fillers/botox, or lashes. I have clip-in extensions for when I attend gala/networking things but half the fun is telling everyone that they are extensions!

I DO get my nails done as that makes me feel more pulled together and I see a girl who I enjoy discussing the beauty industry and life with, and she makes mine last a month. Much better than going every 2 weeks to a place where I can’t communicate with the staff and am subjected to terrible TV!

I also get facials occasionally and enjoy makeup and skincare- I actually think for many women taking care of their bodies can be a first step in acknowledging, or a daily reminder that God loves them. I see an many women who have given up or thrown in the towel when it comes to their appearance as I do women who spend excessive time and money on theirs. SO it’s yet another place where we as believers can cling to the Truth capital T while living in the tension of life in a fallen world.

Thanks for this post!

Could not agree more with this!! Loved this line in particular! “yet another place where we as believers can cling to the Truth capital T while living in the tension of life in a fallen world.” So true!!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I always love your creative content. I started getting Botox last year on my forehead and in my upper lip area to fix my gummy smile. My dentist actually recommended I get Botox for my smile. It’s an investment. At first I was on the fence about it. But then I did my research and made a personal decision to do it. It’s made me more confident. Before getting Botox, I never smiled and now I’m proud to smile. It really is a personal decision. I think God will look at my heart and not at what I did to my appearance. I still look the same. I do think there is an argument for doing too much to your appearance. The great thing about Botox it’s not permanent. People decide it’s not for them everything will dissolve in a few months. I think the same argument could go for women’s clothing. Other cultures are more modest in their clothing but here in the states we can be seen wearing tank tops in public or at church.

I plan to have a liposuction this year but that’s if I have the nerve to go through with it. I had fibroids the size of a six month old baby twice and had to do a surgery first to take it out and then a hysterectomy last year because the pain was unbearable and I do not want to have another surgery if it ever grows back. This condition coupled with pcos has had a toll on my health and disfigured my abdomen so I feel a liposuction will make it better.

Thank you for sharing this! I’ve taken pride in not changing my appearance, but also then turned around and spent too much time poring over my appearance and wishing it was different! ‍♀️ Both are actions that need to stop and I’d like to stop them from a place of conviction and love. I’m incredibly grateful I grew up in a family that always told me I was beautiful and didn’t need makeup, and still have that family and friends today who only see goodness and beauty. It’s a good reminder to ask God to help me define beauty and health in His way and not mine. I will spend money on waxing, especially my face because I struggle with hirsutism. That one is really hard for me

Love it! Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your biblical and nuanced perspective that shines a light on an increasingly prevalent topic.

I’ve struggled with these questions, mostly because I came from a childhood where my mom did not do makeup or much of any other beauty treatments besides haircuts and shaving her legs. She would put on mascara for interviews, but that’s it. We bought clothes twice a year (fall and spring), because we didn’t have a big budget for it. To me, even the most basic makeup was a mystery, and would have taken a lot of energy/time/money to get into. For many, the bar of entry is much lower because they know how to do it, know what to purchase, it’s already part of their baseline, etc.

What I wanted in the past was a positive argument for spending time/energy/money on beauty, because everyone seemed to take it for granted that it was going to be a part of our time. Was it something I should do? Or just something merely that I am permitted to do? Past showers and combing my hair, I was the most utilitarian-minded person on this subject that I knew.

I think as far as positive arguments, I’ve settled to say that beauty is good. Beauty is an attribute of God, and He created us (and I believe especially women) to image beauty. So it’s ok for me to think more and budget some for a nice wardrobe, to learn how to take care of my skin and use makeup sometimes, and to spend time to look nice day-to-day. But then, that reality has to be qualified with exactly what you put above – respect/gratitude for what God has given us, knowing that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty, and making wise choices given our current realities (time, budget, etc.).

Thank you for bringing this up in such a gracious way!

Thank you for this blog post. I am nearing 60 and yes the comparison & judgmental spirit is a tough battle when not only are the influencers/a few spiritual leaders I have followed looking youthful and gorgeous, but several close to me are having procedure done. The struggle is real. Even today’s Jesus Calling devotion pointed to me to not compare myself to others. Thank you for the questions at the end to take to thought. This has helped bring some peace to my struggle.

I resonate with your thoughts and have come to the same conclusions. Sometimes it is hard to not compare as I am just turning 58. But, I don’t t think pursuing beauty in that way will increase my happiness or my walk with God. But, I do get facials and I love them!