Do you know someone who gets on your nerves every time you are in their presence? Just seeing them coming makes your blood pressure rise. They make you want to turn and run away. You are on edge every time you are around them, because you don’t know what they might say or do. They are the people who do not have any couth and no tact. Whatever comes up, comes out. They are always negative and stirring up trouble. I call them sandpaper people. They will rob you of your peace and your joy when they are around. Many times, they are aware of the effect they have on you, but they just don’t care. Some have miserable lives and they project their misery on everyone they meet.
Even though they are hard to love, God’s word says that we should love everyone. His word tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are called to love everyone despite of what they do or how they act. This is a hard thing to do, especially after someone has hurt you or made you mad. Sometimes past hurts and past relationships have affected them and caused them to act the way they do. Our past experiences can change how we view the world and how we treat other people. God’s word tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:28 “Let a person examine himself then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” We need to examine ourselves daily to make sure the things we say and do are not causing us to sin. Examine ourselves to make sure the life we are living is pleasing in the eyesight of God. Therefore, we should not judge other people because we can only see the outside, but God looks at the heart. We tend to judge one another on the limited information we have. People can look good on the outside and be jacked up on the inside. Our hearts can be filled with pain, hurt, anger and bitterness.
Even though some people might get on our last nerve, we still must love them. God commands that we love one another just like we love ourselves. The only way we can love the unlovable is with the power of God. God must be first in our life. We need to develop a relationship with him.
When I look back at all the sandpaper people I have encountered in my life, I now realize God was just using them to draw me closer to him. God uses these sandpaper people to help us become mature Christians. They cause us to pray more, read the bible more and spend more time in the presence of God. It has taken me years to realize this. Dealing with people who cause us stress and anxiety, leads us to seek God. God is the only one who can help us love these people. He is the only one who can help us see beyond their actions and attitudes.
As I reflect on the many times God has forgiven me for the many mistakes I have made. Who am I to judge another child of God and hold a grudge against them for what they have done to me. Forgiveness is not for them, but for us. We must forgive, we do not need to hold on to all that stuff. We are not created to carry these burdens. God’s word says that he is a burden bearer and to bring our burdens to him. Therefore, he sent his only begotten son to die on the cross for our sins. He did this because of love. God loves us so much. He sacrificed his only son for our sins. The next time you encounter a sandpaper person, remember they may have some hurts and pains they have not dealt with yet. Show them the love of God and that you love them too.