Cash for Beauty

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

 

The outlook was dreary as six women discussed the economic state of our  nation. Someone asked what we would be willing to give up when finances get tight.

Most of us agreed that we would easily forgo some things like new shoes when we already own more than we wear and we’ll have to adapt over time to electricity that is only on certain times of the day. Of the six women, four agreed that they would not give up hair color, fingernails would be easy – but not hair color.

The Cost

This conversation and a more recent one got me thinking about what we Americans spend on making ourselves beautiful. I was dumbfounded at the numbers! In 2009, as the economy was falling apart around us, Americans spent $10.5 Billion on beauty “procedures” like laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, rhinoplasty (which I had to look up), chemical peels and Botox. From 2008 – 2009 (the height of the recession) the more costly surgical procedures like liposuction and breast enhancements, did go down by 17%. (Statistics are from World Magazine).

I did a little Google search in an effort to find out what Americans are spending now. USA today called 2016 the “most plastic year ever,” meaning plastic surgery. They say Americans underwent “hundreds of thousands of breast implants, liposuction, and nose surgeries. The cost was greater than $16 Billion! These procedures are not cheap. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/12/americans-spending-more-than-ever-plastic-surgery/100365258/)

Maintenance? 

Hear me clearly that I am not saying that it’s sin to have one of these procedures, if you have the money. I had a friend once tell me she sees these as maintenance. She paints her house regularly so she does a little work on her face regularly!  But I can’t help but wonder how far we should go or how much we should spend. Are we concentrating so much on our own physical beauty that we’re missing what’s happening in the world around us?

Looking at what the Bible says when it talks about physical beauty, it promises no real blessings. Beauty can be deceiving, trying to trap men in sin according to Proverbs 6:25. Proverbs 31:30, Ezekiel 16:15 rebukes people for trusting in their beauty and verse 25 says that it became an abomination.

Wisdom

But, wisely using our money and helping the poor do bring blessings.

  • Proverbs 14:21, Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
  • Proverbs 14:31, Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

God allows us to spend money as we will. He also commands us to remember others in need and even to tithe to Him.

How are we spending our money, even as a culture, or as a nation? Is God being honored in our stewardship of what He’s given us?

Have we given more cash to our beauty regimens than we have to our impoverished neighbors?

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