Show Me the Balance in Mary Kay

Written by a Former Consultant

If Mary Kay Cosmetics says “faith” is supposed to come first, why are so many other things put first?

I cried, “Grace,” to the mountain.
I cried, “Grace,” to what stood in front of me.
I cried, “Grace,” to the mountain.

So, Lord, how come this mountain is still in front of me? Maybe you once heard a “Sunday Morning Message” by either Linda Toupin or Pam Shaw telling you how to apply the Word of God to be successful in your Mary Kay business. When I was deep in the pink thick of things, I could not wait—and that is an understatement if I have ever typed one—to get to the phone each Sunday morning to hear what God had to say through these ladies to me about my Mary Kay business.

Looking back now, it’s easy to see where I went astray from the biblical teachings I hold dear and advanced step-by-step into the pink fog which eventually consumed, and nearly destroyed, everything I held dear. Suffice it to say that I was so convinced that God had given me the “all clear” to build a Mary Kay empire which would be a testament to His goodness at work in my life, causing everyone to want what I had, that I nearly squeezed Him completely out of the picture.

Slowly and somehow unnoticed by me, the still quiet voice of His Spirit within me was replaced by the voices of Pam Shaw, Linda Toupin, Gloria Mayfield Banks, and the likes. Instead of hearing a gentle, “Try again,” I would hear Sabrina Goodwin Monday say, “OWN your power.” (Well, really, what the heck does that mean?! Of course, though, it made sense to me while breathing the pink mist. And, as a personal aside, if you think that recorded messages from Mary Kay royalty and/or a daily Mental B.A.T.H. are good things, I hope you will reconsider by the time you get to the end of this post.)

Since I was so sure that Mary Kay was God’s perfect will for my life, somehow nothing seemed wrong as this transition from God first to Mary Kay first slowly took place. The God of the Bible said to delight in Him and He would give me the desires of my heart, that He wanted me to prosper and be in health even as my soul prospered, and that He had given my hands the power to gain wealth.

Without even realizing it, because I daily listened to recorded messages and Mary Kay videos like the dutiful kaybot that I was, somewhere I crossed a line and started believing that if I delighted in my NSD and did everything SHE said, I would get what I wanted. Somehow I came to believe that it was ok to squander the wealth and health that I did have in order to achieve success in Mary Kay. (“You have to spend money to make money.” “No effort goes forth unrewarded.” “Short-term pain for long-term gain.”) Somehow I came to believe that God had put a credit card in my hands in order to help me achieve my dreams. (I know that most of you understand what I am talking about here. For those of you lurkers in Mary Kay who think I’m just stupid, I can only hope that you never have the same set of experiences/situations that I confronted.)

God said that if there were ever any obstacles, He said all I had to do was to say unto the mountain to be removed, and Mary Kay people said that, too! Way cool, I thought! And, because I had prayed until I was blue in the face, and I had been prayed for, about whether Mary Kay was the path I was to pursue and had received what I believed to be confirmation of such on several occasions, I was determined that I would be one who would not quit until I had claimed the prize. I would “put it all on the line” as Pam Shaw probably still loves to say.

What I somehow forgot about, somewhere along the way, was the need for both balance and meeting other conditions to be blessed, and that is what I believe God has put on my heart to write about today. This, my friend, is what I would call the Pink Truth version of the now-infamous-to-me, Mary Kay-style, Sunday Morning Message. I pray that you will take it to heart, regardless of your beliefs.

An all-time favorite scripture of Mary Kay folks is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things in Christ Who strengthens me.” I eventually came to detest hearing this in conjunction to a Mary Kay distributorship. In my studies, this verse meant that in Christ, God would strengthen me to forge ahead in doing His will despite the circumstances, until that day when He would ultimately reward my efforts by bringing everything together (Phil. 4:19). The road to get there might not be fun or fast, but the end result would be worth all the work and pain it took. In Mary Kay, though, I came to understand that it was the “doing all things” part that was most important and, somehow, Christ was only critical to my success to the degree that I could use Him to advance my career. What was most critical was my being willing to do “whatever it takes” and not to let that line hold me back. It became clear that the Mary Kay version of Philippians, although unspoken, was “I can make myself do all things, ethical or not, God help me.”

What tripped me up, along with this, was the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and even the Mary Kay version, “Do unto others as they want to be done unto.” I could never reconcile how it was God’s will for me to lie to other women about their odds of being successful, the amount of inventory they needed, how “sharp” they were, or how much I liked them. I also could never figure out how the biblical principle of meditating on scriptures and speaking them out loud became twisted into positive affirmations that could somehow cause my perfectly good Ford Taurus to turn into a Pink Cadillac. It doesn’t compute!!! It continued not to compute for many years because eventually, I no longer really talked to God; I talked to myself.

I’ve been taught and continue to believe that 3 John 2 says that we will prosper and be in good health to the degree that our soul (mind, will, and emotions) prospers. When these 3 areas are at peace with each other and with our spirits, we still must do our part. We must grow ourselves spiritually and emotionally by spending time with God in prayer, and we must grow ourselves mentally by reading and studying both His Word and also secular books and materials to gain knowledge. And, like it or not, if we want physical health, we need to act on information which is readily available to us: eat right, exercise, etc.

As long as we lean on Him first for our understanding of all these things and we also meet the condition of loving Him with every area of our life (including our money), then He will bless us. It doesn’t mean that He is opening the windows of heaven to throw out a money bag for us to catch, or that He is going to give us favor so that everyone we meet is persuaded by our words and gives us their money or signs up to be a consultant.

It does mean that He will give us all kinds of ideas and insights which, if we develop and actively pursue with His guidance, have the possibility of enriching our and others’ lives in many ways, financially being just one of them. Sure, some people will become millionaires, but for most who choose to live this way, it will mean that we can rest assured that even though there may be times of scarcity, we generally will have enough excess over what we need in our lives to be able to help others.

My Mary Kay experience was that there was never peace between my soul and my spirit. My mind knew that I was lying and manipulating, and my spirit wouldn’t stand for it. My emotions beat me up, but I squashed them all down for as long as I could stand to until I became distressed mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. The balance on my internal scale is so sensitive that the very least pressure on the wrong side caused much internal turmoil, and I know many of you are the same.

So, my friends, remember that you need to balance what you hear in Mary Kay with both the Bible AND a good dose of common sense. If you don’t believe in God, then listen to your conscience—I don’t think anybody can deny that those exist, even if some Mary Kay folks’ are buried deep.

We need to remember that Moses spent 40 years in Egypt and another 40 years in the desert, so we probably aren’t going to become an overnight success by the world’s standards. We need to remember that not being successful in Mary Kay is not the end of the world, and that it isn’t entirely our fault–we know why that is thanks to Pink Truth and all those who come forward to share their stories. We need to remember that just pressing forward each day to do what WE know is RIGHT and TRUE means we are a success. Sometimes, when we can’t do anything, we need to remember that God views us as a success, even though we may not and just rest in that until we are rejuvenated to move forward.

We also need to remember that God tells us that “the children of darkness are wiser than the children of light,” so that when someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true, you DO need to make extensive efforts to research these claims for yourself so that you don’t fall into a snare. It is possible to do Mary Kay “the right way,” even though that way sits high on a hill surrounded by the slippery slopes of greed, envy, malice, lasciviousness, etc. It may be better not to do Mary Kay at all, though. But, you better make sure you’re hearing the right voice (and not “voices”) wherever you determine you’re being led.

My prayer for you, as you ponder these things in your heart, is that you will listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you and not your upline. Balance is key, and you will not find that in your Mary Kay or other MLM upline. The most important thing is the truth, because that and ONLY that has the power to set you free. Spread the word!


  1. raisinberry

    “the children of darkness are wiser than the children of light,”

    That’s really all you need to know right there. Is there any one among us that didn’t whole-heartedly believe what we were being told, and have complete faith in our mentors?

    We were easily exploited because we trusted them, sad to say.

    1. MLM Radar

      Hmmm. I’d not heard Luke 16:8 presented quite that way before. I usually associate wisdom with God, and cunning with the devil. So while I understand the point after thinking about it, hearing “children of darkness are wiser… ” was a bit confusing.

      Here are the ways I’m more accustomed to seeing Luke 16:8 presented:

      For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. (NIV)

      And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. (NLT)

      … for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. (RSV)

      … for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. (KJV)

  2. JanRD

    “An all-time favorite scripture of Mary Kay folks is Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things in Christ Who strengthens me.’ ”

    It is sad to see this verse and other scripture used out of context to manipulate people into making decisions they will later regret.

    Great article and worth reading in its entirety!

  3. BestDecision

    The same NSDs that are quoting scripture and claiming to be confident are the same one struggling to pack for the NSD trip right now. Linda Toupin posted a picture of stacks of clothes with the caption “The women of Mary Kay’s definition of ‘casual’ is slightly different.”

    It’s all about impressing others in MK. It’s not about authenticity or real encouragement of others. The egos flying on those planes to the trip are unlike any I’ve seen other than celebrities, yet those people don’t preach from the bible or make you feel like God doesn’t value you unless you Gold Medal every month.

  4. cindy lu

    Also after fifty plus years promoting this nonsense, why is this company still NOT truly main stream. If this phony opportunity were real, wouldn’t we be hearing about it on television, in real magazines, on radio and at employment offices? I am sure that real executives have never heard of the MK Directors or NSD’s. Decades later this so called business with the supposed executive income is still an unknown entity. This is simply because much of what they promote is either bogus or exaggerated. Sad that the decades worth of lying by women, is allowed to continue. When I reported my SD’s unethical behavior, I thought for sure Corp would deal with that. Decades later this woman without a conscience still continues as a lowly SD ruining the lives of hundreds of women and their families. It reminds me of Scientology or the FDLS in their behavior and overall dishonesty.

Comments are closed.