Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Friday, September 7, 2012

Sandpaper People by Jan Christiansen

Sandpaper People

Photo courtesy John De Boer,

Sandpaper - paper that's been covered with an abrasive such as sand or glass. Used to smooth or polish the surface of an object by scraping away the rough exterior to reveal the beauty beneath.
Have you ever refinished an old piece of furniture? The process involves lots of sanding to cut through and remove layers of wax, varnish and paint until you can see the beauty of the raw wood with all its grains in varying shades and even the knots that make it truly a unique piece. It's a lot of hard work, but the end result is beautiful

When we come to Christ, God begins a sanding process on us to strip away all the rough layers we've built up. Layers that protect or cover up what's really inside. He knows how He created you-who He made you to be and He will not let up until He sees the real you shining forth.

How does He do it? Sandpaper!

Sometimes He uses difficult circumstances and sometimes He uses difficult people. I call these Sandpaper People.

They're abrasive, frustrating and annoying. They make your life difficult. They hurt you. And when their life rubs up against yours, it's painful.

They strip away the smooth exterior we try so hard to maintain only to reveal some ugly layers that lie beneath. Anger, impatience, prejudice, unforgiveness...these are just a few of the things that God uses Sandpaper People to reveal. Not so He can point a finger and say how bad you are, but so that we are aware of what's still lingering under the new surface of your relationship with Christ - so that we can offer those things up to Him for forgiveness and healing.

So, the next time you rub up against one of those Sandpaper People, instead of getting mad, take a moment to ask yourself what it is that God is trying to show you about yourself and then let him smooth away that layer to reveal a newer you.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

Father, thank you for loving me just the way I am, but also for loving me too much to leave me this way. I welcome you to change those things in me that need changing so that I might be the person you created me to be. I know it will be painful at times, but I am willing to go through the sanding process so that my life will be a beautiful testimony of your transformational power. Amen
~By Jan (who is a great friend, a great 'listener' and a wonderful person. You should go visit her blogs and be blessed...  She Fancied Herself a Writer and Fellowship of Christian Bloggers


  1. Love this! And yes, God brings sandpaper people into our lives to smooth away the edges and roughness of our being but also sometimes we are the sandpaper people being used in the lives of others! I am glad we don't always know it...but I have had a couple of times where I was blessed and challenged to accept this reality by someone bold enough and honest enough (!) to let me know. An opportunity for grace, truth AND humility! God is so amazingly economical in that He wastes nothing when he teaches His children as the yield to Him...

    1. "God is so amazingly economical that He wastes nothing..."

      I love that truth, Dawn!

      Everything in our lives has a purpose. That's good to remember.

  2. I hadn't thought of it this way before, but it's so true. Sandpaper it!

    1. Thanks, Kay. I guess God has to "draw me a picture" in order to get some things across to me. Sandpaper people conjures up a funny picture for me.

  3. I find when I ask God to remove the "sandpaper" people from my life....He gives me more :)
    For me that means more rubbling needs to be done to this child of his :)) I am a work in progress.
    Great post my friend...GREAT post!!!
    Love this!!!

  4. Thanks, Stacey - the great thing about all this is that with each sanding, we grow to resemble the image of Christ just a bit more. If that's the result of learning to deal with irritations, then I say...bring it on!

    "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

  5. I believe this is true, god our father, jesus our savior he will not give us any thing that we can not handle, I love your sandpaper messege jan. I love you dearly.