RON McCLUNG

Are you ever tempted to compare yourself with others? You see their happy pictures on social media and you think, “Why can’t my life be happy like that?” Or you see an adorable picture of a contented baby, just after yours has pulled every toy into the middle of the floor until you can’t walk through without stumbling over something. And you think, “Why can’t my little darling be that cute and well-behaved?”

We must remember that most people don’t post their biggest mistakes. They don’t show what they look like first thing in the morning before they’ve washed their face and combed their hair. And they seldom show pictures of their children when they are misbehaving.

There’s nothing wrong with showing our best side. We just have to remember that life isn’t like that all the time for any of us. Everybody has an off day now and then. Every family deals with real life.

If you’re old enough to remember Marlo Thomas, the actress who starred in the television series, “That Girl,” you may be old enough to remember her father, actor and comedian Danny Thomas.

When she was a struggling young actress of eighteen years, people compared her to her already-famous father. She went to him in tears.

He told her, “I raised you to be a thoroughbred, and when thoroughbreds run, they wear blinders to keep their eyes focused straight ahead with no distractions from the other horses. They run their own race. That’s what you have to do. Don’t listen to anyone comparing you to me or anyone else. You just run your own race.”

The apostle Paul warned of people who make comparisons. He said, “In all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point” (2 Corinthians 10:12 MSG).

Furthermore, we don’t find real happiness in making comparisons.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” While you’re comparing yourself to others, you’re missing out on the joy of being you. Be the best unique version of yourself, as God intended.

— The Rev. Ron McClung, a former pastor of Owosso Wesleyan Church, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, currently serves as the assistant general secretary for the denomination.

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