I know some pretty gritty Christians - as a matter of fact, they are probably the coarsest grade of sandpaper there is in God's toolbox. and boy does it sting when they rub against my grain!
Just about the time I begin to feel good about myself - like I may really have answers for those who ask me about my faith inside; just when I begin to feel like I can make a difference - that's when the abrasion starts.
The constant sanding action causes me to begin reacting and I'm ashamed to admit, sometimes it isn't pretty. I want to shout at that person and say, "Will you stop it already? " Then I turn on God and shout, "Enough already!!!!"
That's when I need to take a step back - to a place where Jesus can take a soft cloth and some soothing oil and rub the raw spots. He helps me work through my issues - the things like low self esteem, forgiveness and love.
The neat thing is that Jesus allows these gritty people to sand off my rough edges, then He shines and polishes me. I need to take consolation in the fact that He will only allow them to sand away as much as necessary for me to become a perfectly shaped vessel for His use.
You know, maybe He is using me after all. The more sandpaper rubs against an object, the more grit rubs off the paper! Over time, the coarseness is gone, leaving a rumpled piece of heavy weight paper.
Those gritty Christians will eventually see themselves "naked" before God (no more protective grit!) and allow Him to redefine their purpose and use in His Kingdom once all the grit is gone.