Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Sandpaper Principle

Read: Ecclesiastes 3:10-14

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time… so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.                                                  Ecclesiastes 3:11 

     I like to work with wood. Over the years, I have made many things from toys for my kids, to coat racks, tables, wall art, and bookcases. Every single thing that I have made required some sort of sanding to produce the finished product. Without sandpaper, wood remains rough and jagged. Sandpaper is not only used for wood, either. It is used to grind down metal, polish out rust, and smooth out drywall mud on a wall. Sandpaper has hundreds of uses, but no matter what it is used for, the principle of sandpaper remains constant.  The sandpaper acts as if it were tearing down the substance it is rubbing on, but the opposite is actually true. The more work the sandpaper does of “tearing down” a material, the more it is destroyed itself, and the more polished the substance becomes that it is acting upon. Worn-out sandpaper is worth nothing, and it can never again be useful.
     The sandpaper principle works in life, as well. There are many people in the world who will try to make you feel inferior to them. They will tear down your dreams and ambitions. They will laugh at your attempts to change the world. They will mock your ideas of greatness. Often, their comments are hurtful and degrading, even to the point of making you want to quit. When people hurt you over and over, however, think of them as sandpaper. They scratch and hurt you, but, in the end, you are polished, and they are useless. Though I caution you not to take on the victim mentality (many people view constructive criticism as if they are being bullied or torn down), never let anyone convince you that you are worthless. God has placed you on this planet for a reason, and, just because your goals are loftier and your thinking is less conventional than the rest of the world, doesn’t mean that there is no place for you. You must fight against the world’s philosophy and attitudes; but remember, it is God who gave you your mind and your personality. Use it to the fullest potential of what He has planned for you regardless of what others think of you or say to you.
     So, let others say what they will. Take what criticism will help you, and let the rest go. Remember, it is you who will be made better and brighter and they who will remain useless.

Quote of the day: “Keep away from the people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”     – Mark Twain

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