Do you have those people in your life that are just tough to love and deal with? I certainly do! I struggle at times ministering to many of the college students that I work with, and even at times, my family and friends. It is hard to practice patience and kindness to those challenging people in our lives. It can be easy to try to insulate ourselves from these people and surround ourselves with people we enjoy - usually people that make us feel good.
In my study this week in Living Beyond Yourself, God really challenged me through one of my favorite passages of scripture in James 1. God's word teaches us that trials and difficulties refine us and produce steadfastness or patience which helps complete what is lacking in us.
Beth Moore describes those tough relationships like sandpaper rubbing together. It is uncomfortable and rough, but with time and consistent contact, will smooth out. God uses that friction in our lives to grow us. My first reaction is to avoid that discomfort, but God is revealing to me that I am called to connect with those frustrating people He places in my path for their growth, as well as mine.
Join me in applying God's "sandpaper strategy" to your life. Can you think of that person God has placed in your life that is a big challenge for you? Do not run from this opportunity for you to be "made complete, lacking nothing."