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Hope for the Day

Melting Pot or Salad Bowl?

Diana Houghtaling
Posted 8/20/21

The United States has long been known as a melting pot, a nation where a variety of people, cultures and individuals blend into a new common culture. Most of us could trace our lineage to immigrants …

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Hope for the Day

Melting Pot or Salad Bowl?

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The United States has long been known as a melting pot, a nation where a variety of people, cultures and individuals blend into a new common culture. Most of us could trace our lineage to immigrants who came from many other nations around the world.

When I think of a melting pot, I think of making no-bake cookies. First butter is melted in a pot on the stovetop, and sugar, milk and cocoa are stirred into the melted butter. After boiling this mixture for one minute, peanut butter is melted into it, and oatmeal, vanilla and salt are added. When the mixture is blended, spoonfuls are dropped onto waxed paper to harden.

In the course of making no-bake cookies, all the individual flavors lose their uniqueness and blend into a new flavor, although the cocoa stands out as the strongest flavor. It’s the same with any other food that goes into a melting pot, such as cheese sauce. Again, all the individual components lose their unique flavor, with one dominant flavor standing out – the cheese.

But I would like to think of the US as more of a salad bowl. Salads can be made of any combination of foods. You can use various greens – lettuces, kale, spinach, chopped herbs. You can add other vegetables – cucumber, tomato, carrot, pepper, onion, cabbage. Proteins such as hard-boiled egg, cheese, beans, bacon, and any number of other meats can go in. Various other components can be added – nuts, seeds, fruit, berries, croutons. Then it is all topped off with salad dressing, vinegar and oil, lemon juice or other flavorings.

In a salad, all the individual components retain their unique flavors, blending together to complement one another. There are so many different combinations that can be used to create many diverse kinds of salads, and I think that’s what God intended for us.

God didn’t create humanity to be melted into one type of person. We are all created with unique characteristics. We come in different colors, sizes, shapes, genders and appearances. We have different temperaments, personalities, dispositions, behaviors and cultures. We are created with various gifts, talents, abilities, likes and dislikes.

Psalm 139:14 tells us we are made so wonderfully complex, and that God’s workmanship is marvelous. Ephesians 2:10 tells us we are God’s masterpiece! God created each of us with a specific purpose, and it takes all of us working together using our own uniqueness to complete these purposes.

God did not create us to melt together and be all alike but to complement one another in our diversity. Our cultures are unique and worth celebrating. The way we do things does not have to be the exact same way that others do them. We are not to compare ourselves with others but to be the unique person we’ve been created to be.

In the beginning when God created everything, He looked at it and said, “It is good.” Don’t think that God made a mistake by the way He decided to make you. You are not a mistake, but just the way God wanted you to be. He loves you so much just as you are, and longs for you to draw near to Him and receive His love. God cheers us on and delights in us becoming all that He has created us to be.

Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 482-5300.

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