As a woman in ministry, I am often tempted to slap that huge “S” on my chest, don my self-made power cape and pronounce myself “Superwoman.” It never works.What does work is making the deliberate choice to love that sandpaper person, inviting God to work in and through us to bring about change – His change.
Soon she found herself in places she never thought she would be, and at the ripe age of 14, Sherry became a prostitute to support her drug and alcohol addictions. Food was either provided as part of her services to men or fished out of foul-smelling garbage cans lining back alleys.
Cardboard boxes and newspapers became her bedding as the bottom fell out of her world, casting her into a dark, slimy pit. My heart soared with the thrill of leading a lost lamb to the Shepherd.
The intentional man repeatedly and constantly goes first and takes on all of the risk of rejection.
He always lets the girl know where he stands so she feels secure and isn’t left guessing.
When she asked if I would teach her how to live this new life, I decided right then and there that God needed my help in saving her.
During the following weeks and months, I spent hours each week teaching her how to study the Bible, pray, deal with her sin, and withstand temptation.
Difficult relationships yield to love as the worth of a soul is recognized and valued. God uses these difficult relationships as catalysts through which He lovingly upsets comfortable plans and purposefully redirects safe and carefully calculated steps.
Sandpaper people desperately need someone who will look beyond their abrasive behavior and rough exterior to recognize their worth. The results can be chaotic and unsettling, but will always be life-changing.
I call them “sandpaper people.” Sandpaper people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and sometimes they are us! Getting along with sandpaper people requires a new point of view - seeing them as God sees them.
We try to change them, run from them, ignore them, and even take a stab at fixing them. We cannot base love for difficult people on feelings, but rather on God’s love that is released when we choose to love a sandpaper person as is. God has to do the changing if it is to be a lasting change.
(On the other hand, don’t weird her out by talking about marriage on the first date.) I agree.