Sanding Rough Edges

God will never have us face temptations or difficulties beyond what we can bear, but going through these will help make us stronger, more mature Christians.


Discipline, Perseverance, Spiritual Growth, Temptation


Small piece of soft wood
Trash can to catch sawdust


Approximately 5 minutes



You will demonstrate how a piece of sandpaper is not too rough, but just rough enough to make a piece of wood smoother. This is similar to how the Lord allows us to be tested or to face certain temptations in our lives, but not beyond what we can bear. He does this to make us stronger and more mature (1Cor. 10:13; James 1:2-4).


Here is a small piece of sandpaper, and here is a piece of wood. Does anyone know what I can do with these? That’s right; I can rub the sandpaper over the wood to make it smoother. I can even use the sandpaper to round off these edges. Can I have a volunteer verify that this is sandpaper? (Give to volunteer) I want you to feel the sandpaper, how does it feel? That’s right it is rough and scratchy. Now how can that sandpaper make a piece of wood smoother? Well let’s see how it works. (Take back the sandpaper and rub one edge of the wood to round it off.) See, it does work, even though the sandpaper is rough, it is rough just enough make the wood smoother. If I tried to use something too rough, like a brick, the wood would become rougher.

The sandpaper is sort of like the temptations and difficulties we face in our life. Our Lord knows just how much we can take. He always gives us the strength and ability we need to resist temptations and to get through the rough times. During the process, we become stronger, mature, "smoother" Christians. The Bible says, "God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it" (1Corinthians 10:13). The Bible also says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4).

So, before a piece of wood can become a beautiful piece of furniture, it must be sanded. Likewise, in order for a Christian to become stronger and more mature, they must go through some rough times.