My Plastic Surgery Nightmare

Counseling LoriToday I was gawking at some of those terrible before and after photos the media publishes of celebrities who have had unfortunate run-ins with plastic surgery. Plastic surgery can go wrong if you don’t have the top plastic surgeons in denver supporting you.
(You know you do it, too. How can we NOT look, right?)

I’ve done this before and always find it a satisfying moment of self-righteousness where I pat myself on the back for not succumbing to modern pressures of beauty. Never mind, that my choice to age naturally has as much to do with fear and finances as it has to do with commitment to representing myself honestly. Anyway, in my small, petty self where I compete with the rest of the world for points, when it comes to people who submit themselves for plastic surgery and suffer unwelcome outcomes, I win, they lose. It’s normally a twisted, smug but satisfying moment. Although I can understand some of the reasons why some may choose to search for top surgeons for breast implants Denver, as this is one aspect of our bodies many women aren’t confident in, however, this still isn’t for me.

That is until God got a hold of it today. (grrr)

That’s right. Apparently, my Father was looking over my shoulder and before I could reach around to pat my own back, He Gibbs slapped me.

“What?” I asked (you know, with all reverence.)

Pointing at the photos, He said, “You do that.”

“That? No way. They’ve messed with their own make-up in some sad, pathetic, vain attempt at idealized perfection and ended up disfigured, distorted, and worse off than they started. That’s not me. Look at my face.”

“Not your face,” He replied. “Your soul.”

Wow. Wow. Okay, wow.

For that, I had no reply. In that one moment when the Holy Spirit crossed over the transom of my self-righteousness and confronted me with the mirror of God’s word, I had to confess that I practice plastic surgery of the soul.

Too often, I decide how I’m doing as a Christian. I compare myself to others or I compare myself to God’s word but decide to attempt the improvements through my own means, not by submitting myself to the Holy Spirit. God’s ways are too slow, too challenging, too arduous. I can handle this character change, I think. So, I pump, pluck, and prop up my sagging spiritual features using human practices and hope that makes me beautiful.

So what if my model of perfection is cultural and not entirely Biblical? So what if I have a perception marred by sin and a competitive nature? I don’t need God’s evaluation; I’ve done my own. I need a boost in the generosity department. My honesty is enlarged and needs to be trimmed. My heart is too small and requires some inflation. There, now I look like Jesus, right? I bet I’ve made my soul beautiful for Him and spared Him the effort!

What I saw in the Holy Spirit’s mirror wasn’t even pretty.

Not only that, I had to admit I often set up a rogue surgical practice where I make attempts at improving the souls of others. I decide they’re not growing beautiful fast enough either and I know I can help. Sadly, I’m very convincing, so some even willingly go under my knife but the results are not the maturation of the soul that comes from growing up in Christ. Instead, they are some distortion of Christ-likeness that instead of drawing others, makes them recoil in horror or gawk in amazement. (not the good amazement, either.)

Paul warned us against becoming self-surgeons when he said, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” I Corinthians 4:1-5

Solomon, in all his wisdom, assured us that God makes all things beautiful in their time.

And Paul exhorts the Galatians with these direct words, “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Galatians 3:2-3 (ESV)

If we follow Jesus, obey His word, and listen to His Spirit, He does the work within us that makes our souls beautiful. It’s a process. It takes time. But, if, instead, we look at Jesus and decide we can make ourselves look like Him through our own efforts, we’re no different (and neither is the result) than misguided celebrities who attempt to craft their own beauty.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my soul to resemble Joan Rivers. I’m going to retire my knife and return to my knees, trusting God with my soul’s eternal perfection.

What about you? Have you put your soul under the knife? Other souls? Are you ready to set your scalpel down?

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    The Conversation

  1. Powerful message. Ouch.

  2. Joyce says:

    Okay seriously! This “parallel lives” stuff is getting freaky! I think I saw this in a Twilight Zone episode. Please, can you just tell God I got the message? I don’t LIKE the message, but I got it.

  3. Maxine D says:

    I agree with Vonda – Ouch, VERY Ouch 🙁

  4. Cyn Rogalski says:

    I hate those Gibbs slaps, but so thankful for them.
    (ps- I found where to comment)

  5. Debbie Rushton says:

    I was just thinking about doing some surgery of my own this morning. I ran across this and boy did it cut deep. I am not a surgeon. So I too put down the knife and let God do what He does best in me.