I bet that almost everyone has used a sheet of sandpaper at one time or another. Sandpaper has that grit on it that is used to remove small amounts of material on surfaces that usually take something off or make it smoother. I have had difficult people in my life and I call them my “sandpaper people.” I bet you all have at least have one or encountered one. They are the “self righteous ones”, “the criticizer”, “the sherman tank- they run right over you”, “the know it all, “ the instigator”, “the entrapper,” “the bully,” “ fault finding critics,” “ the excuse giver,” and “ the blabber mouths.” Any of these sound familiar to you? I once heard an old wives tale -- the things that you find so abrasive about these people may be some of the same traits that you might have. How do you respond and react to these people? This week I have pondered on why we encounter them. Does God use these people to “grate” on us for a reason? One of the things that I thought about was Eph.6:18 -- pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying. Phil. 2:13 --it is God who is at work within you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Prov. 15:23 - Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
God made all people --even the “sandpaper ones.” He did not promise that we would not encounter them. Not everyone is going to like everybody and we will find those that can get along with everyone but you. Most of the time it is not you -- it is them. They blame everyone else for all their problems, they are nit-pickers, unhappy with themselves or they are hurting people. Sometimes they are so impossible and these are the things they do well. How do your handle these people? What is it that God wants you to do? Stay calm--do not use angry words and for heaven’s sake girls -- don’t cry. This only encourages them to act worse than they already have. Jesus was calm with all the sandpaper people he encountered. You can not deal with them the same way you deal with other people. Do you remind yourself that this person’s opinion may not be the truth? Did everyone who knew the truth even believe Jesus? You do not have to defend yourself --Jesus didn’t.. He knew that no matter what he said or did it would not matter. Learn to be a manager of yourself. Trust God with the situation and the person. The “ sandpaper” person will never take responsibility for “ their part” because they do not have any flaws and they are unable to recognize them. Can your actions and the way you live your life in any way be a witness to them? God has placed them in our path watching us and how we deal with them. I want to be an example of tolerance, patience, humility and kindness. I don’t want them to see me at all. I want them to see the one living in me --the one who is in control of me. Most of the time, these are things that sandpaper people are not good at. Can I be understanding? It certainly won’t change the way the sandpaper people are, but it will help you deal with them. God is using them in our lives to show us things about ourselves and is sanding away at us to take all those little nicks and hard edges on us to make us smooth. It may be than you are one of those “sandpaper” people and you do not even realize it. Take time to check to see how you are reacting to people. Look at the expressions on their faces, listen to the words that come out of your mouth and the tone of your voice. Are people avoiding you so they don’t have to have any type of discussion with you? Or ask yourself this question--if Jesus was standing right beside you when you talk to others, would he be embarrassed or pleased by your words and actions? Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable to you Lord. Psalm 19:14.
Heavenly Father: You are the creator of all people. We are not able to see into their heart like you do. We cannot discern why they do the things that they do. Hurting people hurt people. Give us gracious loving hearts to deal with these people. Father we have discovered that life is more satisfying and people feel better about themselves when they show love rather than judge, when they care instead of criticize. Give us tender hearts and show us what we can learn about and from these “ sandpaper people.” Father if we find that we are one of these “sandpaper” people ourselves, show us so that we can change our ways. If we are --let us go to those people we have offended and ask for their forgiveness. We ask these things in your name--Amen
Leadership: as you go about your week take a look at your “sandpaper people” in a different light “God’s light.” Have a blessed week. Janice Encourager Coach-Team