Some folks are just plain hard to like. I like down to earth people, they’re easy to be around. I know it’s easy to like people that we have more in common with, but there is a percentage of people out there that just seem to be downright nasty.

I try to go out of my way to get along with people, especially ones that I have to see on a regular basis. And, for the most part, I’ve been fairly successful at it, but I don’t walk on water…

There have been a handful of folks that are what the preachers like to call your “sandpaper”. Yeah, they rub me the wrong way and grind my grace down till there’s nothing left.

There’s a guy I see all the time at the gym that fits that description. He’s got the personality of a box of rocks. Even so, for years I’d go out of my way to be cordial toward him.

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Right before Christmas, about seven or eight years back, I went around greeting folks and wishing them a Merry Christmas before I left the gym. I went up to Mr. Rocks and offered a handshake along with a “Merry Christmas.” He yanked his ear buds out, rolled his eyes, gave an annoyed huff, and begrudgingly gave a quick handshake without looking at me. He plugged his music back in his ear without ever looking at me. That was the last time I acknowledged his existence.

About a year and a half ago I sat down on a machine Mr. Personality was planning on using. I didn’t know it, but I wouldn’t have altered my plans for him anyway. I had my ear buds in so I assume he thought I had music playing, I didn’t. He mumbled extreme profanity at me, worse than anybody ever had in my life that I didn’t end up fighting.

I followed Mr. Jerk with my eyes on fire waiting for him to look at me so I could call him out. He didn’t look.

I have to admit, after my initial rage subsided, I was pretty proud of myself for not pursuing Mr. Idiot Head. But my initial feeling based in pride was far less than perfect.

I’m not sure why folks decide not to like others. I guess it’s the way they look and how they interact with others. I tend to be an extrovert and I carry myself with confidence, maybe too much. But I try to live my life by the teachings in the Good Book. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

It’s easy to live at peace with people that we get along with. Dealing with the ones that test our pride and patience are a different matter. I know there was no victory in not getting into a physical altercation. My thoughts failed me. Not to mention it’s a struggle not to see that guy almost daily and not loathe him.

I need the constant reminder that God loves everyone equally, even Mr. Personality. I too often miss my calling to have love and compassion for others. I like to like the likable… it’s easy. It’s probably not a coincidence that I’ll have another opportunity to show the grace to Mr. Human that is bestowed upon me.

Do you have a “sandpaper” in your life?