Learn to Appreciate the Differences
The truth is, we all must learn to appreciate our differences. Don’t try to squeeze everybody into your little box. And don’t allow anyone else to cramp your style. Certainly, we can always learn from other people, and sometimes we need to be open to change. But you need not feel insecure because you don’t have the same physical, emotional, or intellectual traits that someone else has. Be happy with who God made you to be.
The reason many people are discontented today is because they compare themselves with other people. You know how it goes. You start out in a perfectly good mood, happy as can be, but then you see one of your coworkers drive up in a brand-new car. You start thinking, I wish I had a new car. Here I am, driving this old clunker. Before long, your good mood is gone, and you are discouraged and discontented. Or maybe you see a friend walk into the room and she is being escorted by her handsome husband. Then you look over at your husband…and…well, you get my point.
But it’s as silly to compare your spouse to somebody else’s spouse as it is to compare your talent, abilities, or education to somebody else’s. Such comparisons are almost always counterproductive, causing you to lose your joy. Just run your race. Don’t worry about anyone else.
God has an individual plan for each of our lives. Just because something works for somebody else doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for you. God gives each of us special grace to do what He’s called us to do. If we make the mistake of trying to copy other people, we’re going to be frequently frustrated, and we’re going to waste a lot of time and energy. Worse yet, we may miss the good things God has for us to do!
I’ve seen mothers who are always running their children here and there, investing a lot of time in their kids. Their children are involved in every club and sport, and usually that’s great. But some moms simply try to copy another person, or they enroll their children in all sorts of activities out of a sense of guilt and condemnation.
Here’s some good news: You don’t have to keep up with anyone else. You can run your own race and be an individual. God has given you the grace to do what He’s called you to do. He has not given you the grace to do what everybody else is doing. You don’t have to be the best mother in the world, just be the best mother that you can be.
I may not ever the world’s greatest husband. I may not be the best father, but I’m determined to be the best I can be. And I’m not going to feel bad about myself. If somebody can do what I do better, fine. I’m not in a contest; I’m not comparing myself with anyone else. As far as I’m concerned, I’m number one! I know I’m doing the best I can do.
That is what the Scripture teaches. It says, “Let each one examine his own work.” (Romans 8:37) In other words, quit looking at what everybody else is doing and run your own race. You can take pride in yourself without comparing yourself to anybody else. If you run your own race and be the best that you can be, then you can feel good about yourself.