Being You

Today’s devotional, reposted from Holley Gerth, reminds us how important it is to be yourself in a world that tries to squeeze you into conformity with the masses.

InGodsHands“As soon as you start pursuing your true identity and purpose, you can bet you’ll hear a lot of opinions about what that means for you. So if you try to be perfect in the ways others think you should be, you’ll find yourself continually changing who you are to meet someone else’s standards.

These varying human definitions of perfect even apply to something as simple as spaghetti sauce. Howard Moskowotiz was hired by a major brand to discover the “perfect” spaghetti sauce so that the company could beat their biggest competitor. Surely with a fabulous team, professional taste analyzers, and modern technology, Moskowitz would find just the right recipe. But it didn’t work out that way. Author Malcolm Gladwell share’s what happened next:

Working with the Campbell’s kitchens, Moskowitz came up with forty-five varieties of spaghetti sauce. These were designed to differ in every conceivable way: spiciness, sweetness, tartness, saltiness, thickness, aroma, mouth feel, cost of ingredients, and so forth. He had a trained panel of food tasters analyze each of those varieties in depth. Then he took the prototypes on the road—to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Jacksonville—and asked people in groups of twenty-five to eat between eight and ten small bowls of different spaghetti sauces over two hours and rate them on a scale of one to a hundred. When Moskowitz charted the results, he saw that everyone had a slightly different definition of what a perfect spaghetti sauce tasted like.

That’s exactly the same problem we run into: everyone has a slightly different definition of what’s perfect. Moskowitz did discover some patterns. For example, some liked chunky sauce and others smooth. But there wasn’t ever an exact solution for everyone. The result of the project ended up being not one “perfect” sauce but a whole variety of really good ones that met different needs.

God loves variety, too. He expresses that through each one of us. When we think of “perfect” in our culture, it’s almost a synonym for “exactly the same.” But God wouldn’t agree. His definition seems to be more along the lines of “wildly different.”

Just take a look at how many kinds of flowers there are, how each sunset varies from the next, how every snowflake that falls is one of a kind. We look at “perfect” as fitting into someone else’s mold. The perfect wife. The perfect mother. The perfect employee. But God says you’re one of a kind. He wants you to become more of who He created you to be, not a copy of someone else.

I shared this quote last week but it’s worth sharing again. Jill Churchill said, “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” I believe the same principle applies to every area of our lives {and apparently to spaghetti sauce, too}. So go out there today and dare to be simply, wonderfully you.”

(c) 2015 Holley Gerth Used with permission


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