The world is not on our shoulders; it's in God's hands.

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.


Holley Gerth

P.S. Looking for Graduation Gifts? You’re Already Amazing, You’re Made for a God-sized Dream and Opening the Door to Your God-sized Dreams will encourage the graduates in your life!

Books to encourage you...


It's always fun to see books underlined and marked up! Thanks for sharing yours, Amia!

It’s always fun to see books underlined and marked up! Thanks for sharing yours, Amia!

Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

Giveaway and Optional Writing Prompt: For the next few weeks, the Wednesday posts are going to be about getting free from the pressure to be perfect. I’ll have an optional writing prompt for you about that topic. If you write about it, link up and include my new book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect in your post somewhere, you’ll be entered to win a God’s Heart for You necklace {U.S. residents only}. Thanks to DaySpring for providing the necklaces! Congratulations to Abigail McDonald for winning last week! If you don’t have a blog, you can share today’s post on Facebook, leave a comment here saying you did and answer the prompt in your comment.

The prompt for today was: Do you have a hard time showing imperfections?

Next Wednesday’s prompt is: How would your view of yourself change if you began to think God’s definition of ‘perfect’ is actually ‘wildly different’?

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. And when you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!

{Click to tweet that you’re joining me here today!}

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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