«You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men» (Matthew 513).
The only tomatoes I like are those grown by my neighbor in his organic garden. The tomatoes that grow in his garden taste and smell completely different from those purchased at the supermarket. I recently found out why. In her book Nice, Sharon Hodde Miller told the sad story of the industrial tomato. About a hundred years ago, a farmer discovered how to grow «perfect» tomatoes. Through a genetic alteration, that farmer created a new type of tomato that matures evenly, has a symmetrical shape, and is more resistant There is only one small problem: the same gene that produces these changes also alters the taste of the tomato. That which makes a tomato look perfect on the outside ruins its flavor.
As women, we live under constant pressure to look perfect. It seems it is our duty to have bodies that reflect today’s ideal of beauty no matter how toxic or unhealthy it is. There are also rigid stereotypes regarding success, and even motherhood. The pressure is such that many women feel they must become someone they are not in order to be accepted. However, as Sharon Hodde Miller said, the price of this «perfection» means losing flavor. «When we change to be accepted, included, seen, affirmed, or promoted . . . we water down the original flavor.»
You are unique. Perhaps the Lord called your neighbor to be a professional marathoner, while He called you to stay at home and take care of your children. There’s more than one way to be successful. Your body is unique. Keep it healthy; be a slave to neither fashion nor to laziness. Do not lose your flavor to be accepted. «What begins as a seemingly small compromise,» warned writer Lysa TerKeurst in Uninvited, «can easily become a complete contradiction of the people we long to be.»
The world needs the unique and original flavor that Jesus gave you. Don’t pawn it to fit into a narrow mold you were never supposed to fit into.
Dear Lord, I want to be a woman with real flavor. Please give me the courage I need to be authentic and to stand firm in the face of social pressure.