When I heard Joyce Meyer say: "God plants some sandpaper people in yout life for a reason" it got me thinking - and now writing.
Indeed, it is not everyone is easy to get on with - I know some of such people who I refer to as sandpaper people. If you realize that God commanded us to love everyone, not necessarily like them, you will be in a better position to get the best out of those sandpaper people around you. There are also some sandpaper people that you like, love and hold dear because you know that they are in your life to help you stay on the "straight and narrow" - such as spouses, parents, children, friends and so on - not as if you really had a choice :)
Beyond being rough, sandpaper has to come in close contact with an object in order to improve it and make that object "fit" for its purpose. There are some of us that love our personal space so much that we don't want anyone in our face or space. You are not an island and cannot live like one if you intend to improve and achieve great things in life.
Talking about coming in close contact with others, I was amused when a lady told me that she has been known to step out of elevators because they were crowded. Think about it, stepping out of an elevator on it's way up, or even down, means 3 things:
You've cut short your trip into or out of something in your life
It will take you longer to get to your "destination"
You've missed an opportunity to meet people who may "help" you in your life journey
While I'm not saying that you should go around looking for sandpaper people - I wouldn't - I definitely encourage you to "embrace" the sandpaper people around you - they are there for a reason, sometimes a season ore even a lifetime.* According to Mary Southerland: "Sandpaper people are not only a reality of life, but opportunities from the heart of God. The world is watching, as is every sandpaper person in our lives, pushing every limit to see how we will respond. It is through these difficult relationships that we grow and mature in Christ. The rough edges fall away as we welcome the lessons sandpaper people bring."** (italics mine)
Her perspective will help me as I consciously assess, access and accept the sandpaper people that come my way - that won't be easy but improving isn't easy so I'll give it my best shot...
You know, looking at this differently, you and I can learn from the sandpaper people around us and become better quality sandpaper people - for and to others. Forget it, not everyone will "like" you but let them be able to look back and thank God for your impact in their lives.