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Snowflakes to Iron

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SNOWFLAKES 2 IRON

By JR Thompson

Here’s a boring disclaimer for anyone who actually takes the time to read it: This is a work of nonfiction and is of a Christian genre. You may find yourself offended if you do not like your little toes getting stomped on. That’s okay. No pain, no gain, right? You may not agree with the author’s point of view and you don’t have to. He is not obligated to change his mind to align himself with your point of view. If you don’t like the book, close it and forget you ever saw it. It was free, right? Hope you enjoy. Happy reading.

Discover more about Christian Author JR Thompson and his writings at www.jrthompsonbooks.com

All scriptures quoted and referenced in this book are taken from the Authorized King James Bible.

Copyright © 2017 JR Thompson

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior permission of the author.

Introduction

Don’t you hate it when someone tells you your nose is too big for your face, your teeth are crooked, or your breath reeks? Of course, none of us enjoy having such things pointed out to us, but face it—life is not a swimming pool filled with dark chocolate. It’s more like a public swimming pool with a smelly little piece of something or two floating around in it.

Okay, what does that have to do with snowflakes turning into iron? Good question! I’m glad you asked.

Before I give you the answer, however, I must tell you that if you’re a snowflake, you’re probably going to get offended and might want to go ahead and close this book back before you read any further.

First, I want you to take a moment to picture a snowflake in all of its glory. It’s the end of November and winter hasn’t really started yet. You are driving down the road in your sports car or mini-van or whatever it is you drive, and you start seeing little droplets on your windshield. They don’t look like rain. Surely it’s too early for snow to start falling, right? Sorry, Charlie.

Looking closer, you begin to observe beautiful little snowflakes dancing through the sky. They float ever so gracefully until you, with no sense of compassion, ram into them with your car and splatter their watery guts all over your windshield. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. In all reality, when the snowflakes land on your warm windshield, they immediately fall apart at the seams. In other words, they can’t take the heat.

Unfortunately, it seems our earth is quickly becoming overcrowded with snowflake people. Surely you’ve noticed, right? If not, it may very well be that you’re one of them.

What do I mean by snowflake people? Oh, thank you so much for asking!

Snowflake people look like they have it all together. They greet you with a smile, laugh at your corny jokes, tell you how wonderful their life is—oh, but that’s only if they’re meeting you for the first time. Once they’re comfortable with you, you find out there’s a whole different side to them. The side that whines and cries every time a little bit of resistance comes their way. “My coworker got a promotion he didn’t earn. That new office should belong to me! Boo hoo hoo.” “Gossiping Gertrude was talking about me behind me back. Whaaa Whaa Whaaa.” “Did you see the way he looked at me? How dare he judge me that way? I need my mommy.”

I know it sounds funny, but I’m sure it sounds familiar too, right?

Okay, so now that you know a little more about snowflakes and snowflake people, let’s move on and look at iron.

Now, for those who may already be confused, let me assure you I’m not referring to the iron you use to straighten out your unmentionables. Oh, you don’t iron those? Neither do I. I promise I was only kidding.

I’m referring to the kind of iron some knives are made out of. When it’s first made, a knife blade constructed of iron is pretty sharp. However, after some use the blade begins to dull down a bit. If you take another iron blade and rub it against the first one, both of the blades will begin to sharpen. Unlike the snowflake that falls apart under pressure, iron becomes more useful.

Isn’t it reassuring to know that mixed in with all of the snowflake people, there are still some iron individuals walking about? Oh, I do appreciate that rare breed. “He said my toenail fungus is unattractive. I guess I should either get that treated or start keeping my feet covered up.” “I got passed over for the management position. I guess I’m going to have to start picking up my game and get some additional training so I’ll be ready when the next opportunity comes my way.”

Do you see the difference? It’s as plain as that black hair popping out of the end of your nose. Don’t get mad, snowflake; it was only a joke.

The reason I’m writing this book is because I have been working with youths and their families for well over a decade and more and more I’m seeing people fall apart over the tiniest of issues. I want to share the same advice with you that Moses shared with Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:7, “Be strong and of a good courage.”

As you read this book, I want you to do some self-reflection. It’s pretty easy to point out the weaknesses of others, but what are yours? Where and how can you improve? And then, while you’re doing that, think about your children and your grandchildren.

Yes, I really did go there! You, as an adult, are responsible for the way you train up the younger generations. How are you training them?

1

Understanding Snowflake People

In the introduction, I already explained what a snowflake person is. If you’re like me and have a tendency to skip introductions and just dive right into the subject matter, please go back and read the introduction now. It won’t take but a few minutes and it will bring more meaning to this chapter.

Now I’m going to get a little more personal. Are you ready? Good. Here goes! Let’s start with a list of common character traits that the majority of snowflake people share:

• they find themselves in frequent arguments (it’s obviously because other people are always being mean to them)

• they love speaking evil of others (they’re really just trying to talk about their own feelings – they would never tear anyone down intentionally)

• they are easily angered or upset when they don’t get their way (and they make sure everyone in their social media network knows all about it)

• they have no problem admitting how stressed out they are (because of their terrible circumstances)

• they attempt to transform iron people into snowflake people (because iron people are too intimidating to them, perhaps?)

Let’s look at each of these traits from a Biblical perspective—beginning with the frequent arguments. There was a time in my life when I can remember getting in arguments and saying, “That felt good!” I was so immature that I felt like I had to argue with someone on a regular basis or I would go crazy—the way a lot of smokers today say they have to have a cigarette to relieve their stress.

What do you think causes arguments? Well, if you’re a snowflake, you probably think it’s everyone around you. Your child’s teacher at school just doesn’t like your family. Your pastor looks down on you because you didn’t go to Bible College. Your neighbor is jealous because you have a nicer house than she does. That’s what starts all of it—other people, right? Sorry, but no.

If you find yourself in frequent arguments, the first thing you need to realize is the problem is not with everyone else—like it or not, THE PROBLEM IS YOU and the wicked sin that you allow to control you. Show me that in the Bible, you say. Gladly!

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10

Before we get into this verse, I want to address those of you who do not believe pride is a sin. It is and I’ll show it to you in the scriptures. “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be punished.” Proverbs 16:5

An abomination my friend is not a good thing. It’s not something God is pleased with. It is indeed a sin. Now let me ask you this. When is the last time you heard someone openly admit that they have a problem with pride? It’s commonplace for people to admit they have a problem with backbiting, complaining, a lack of self-discipline, or even with an addiction of some kind. But pride… no. People don’t like to admit that one. You know why? Because they’re too proud to do so.

Pride causes a person, according to the verse quoted above, to find themselves in contention. That means it causes tension between individuals or groups. Strife comes about because someone feels the world should revolve around them. Their opinions aren’t really opinions – they are facts and everyone else had better agree or else. Sound familiar? I’m not saying you’re like that. But surely someone you know is, right?

Let’s move on to the next character trait of snowflake people – talking bad about others. Wow, is that ever a destructive practice! Let’s think about why we all tend to struggle in that area. It’s because when we get hurt, we feel the need to get other people to join our side. We try to cause divisions. We try to cause hurt. We try to get everyone we know to hurt the person who hurt us.

So let’s think about this in the form of an illustration. Let’s say Bob and Joe are playing around wrestling with one another. Bob, without meaning to, twists Joe’s ankle. Joe doesn’t care that Bob didn’t hurt him on purpose. He got hurt! So he goes out and tells Eric, Johnny, Paul, and Richard that Bob attacked him for no reason and when he was trying to get away, his ankle got twisted. All of those other guys go out and find Bob and beat the bloody snot out of him. Beat him up now and ask questions later.

Wow… did you realize that’s what happens when we talk about people? The other day, something hit me. I had a teacher in high school who believed she had been reincarnated. In a previous life, she claimed to have been someone of royal blood. I have never forgotten that and I’ve been out of high school for nearly twenty years now. Guess what I just realized? Do you know that teacher never told me she believed she was reincarnated? Guess how I know she believed that? Because another teacher who didn’t care much for her told our entire class – about 30 kids. She told us how that other teacher was a bit off in the head. For twenty years, I’ve assumed what I was told about her was true. But what if it wasn’t? Do you see how that one person’s backbiting hurt another person’s reputation? That’s not all she told us about that teacher by the way. How wrong is that? What do you believe about other people that you never witnessed yourself? What horrible things do you believe someone said or did just because you heard it on the news? Just because a friend told you? Just because a stranger was talking about it? Snowflake people melt and fall apart when they hear gossip and then they spread that gossip like wildfire.

So what does the Bible have to say about this kind of behavior? James 4:11a says, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren.” That passage of scripture doesn’t leave any room for exceptions. It doesn’t say – “Speak not evil of one another, brethren, unless someone has wronged you.” No, it says not to do it – no matter what. So Mr. or Mrs. Snowflake, think about that verse the next time you start mouthing off about somebody. It’s not your place to point out another person’s flaws. If someone wrongs you, that’s between you and that other person and God – no one else needs to know about it. You are never, ever, ever supposed to get involved in trying to ruin another person’s reputation and whether you admit it or not, that is exactly what you’re doing when you start wagging that tongue of yours.

Snowflake people are easily angered when they don’t get their way. “How dare that hamburger flipper put lettuce on my hamburger when I said I wanted it plain?” “Did that lady really just say she thinks abortion is wrong? How dare her!” “Why did they call that other patient back before me? I was here first!” Wow, the things people get angry about are quite silly, are they not? The problem with Snowflake people is that they don’t realize the things they’re getting angry over are insignificant. To them, their trivial little matters should be important to everyone; the universe should revolve around them. When it doesn’t, smoke starts to pour out of their ears and they begin breathing fire. Surely you’ve seen this happen, right?

Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Oh child of God, let me tell you something. You will not find yourself in frequent turmoil if you truly love God’s law. If you’re finding yourself getting in daily, weekly, or even monthly arguments, you are struggling spiritually. You have somehow left your first love. Get in that Bible and read it. Fall in love with the Word of God. Don’t find ways to excuse yourself from its teachings by simply saying God understands that your situation is different; you are not an exception to the rule. Allow God’s Word to direct your steps. Fall in love with God’s laws, understanding that those laws are there to give you and your family a better future. If you are telling yourself right now that you love the Bible and it’s not your fault that other people are always starting trouble with you… that in itself proves that you do not love God’s law. Psalm 119:165 makes it crystal clear that a person who loves God’s law does not get offended by ANYTHING. You would not get into arguments of any kind unless you are offended, right?

Not only do snowflake people frequently find themselves angry, but they’re also constantly finding themselves under a lot of stress. I’m not saying there aren’t times when everyone out there has to deal with stressful situations. It happens. But a person should not find themselves stressing over things that aren’t worth stressing over. For example, let’s say your mother-in-law calls and says she’s dropping by for an unexpected visit. She’s getting ready to leave her house and she will arrive at yours in fifteen minutes. Your sink is full of dirty dishes; the grass hasn’t been cut for three weeks; the dog just threw up in the middle of your sofa. What are you going to do? Run around the house like a mad person – biting everyone’s heads off and commanding them to run around in warp speed getting things in better order? Why are you stressing? Why are you so determined to give a false impression of what your home is really like? A person doesn’t have to get all worked up because their child or teenager got made fun of at school. There’s no reason to stress out because you just spilled some pink medicine on your khaki pants right before you go back into the office. But people do. They stress over anything and everything. Why? Because they’ve grown up or are growing up to believe they have to boohoo to somebody every time their lives are not going smoothly.

Psalm 55:22a says to, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee.” Those words are easier said or listened to than applied, aren’t they? There was a time in my life when a physician thought I may have been developing Crohn’s Disease. It turned out that my problems were one hundred percent related to stress. No, I’m not a perfect person. I’m far from it. I had allowed stress from a job I was working at to make me physically ill. The doctor ordered me to not work anymore overtime and basically told me I would not bet better as long as I continued in that career path. I believed him and eventually left that position. But God’s way would have been better, wouldn’t it? Instead of listening to that doctor, I should have listened to Great Physician and laid that burden down at the feet of Jesus. I should have asked for His help and allowed Him to sustain me. Stress is not something God wants your life to be full of. Watch for it and take care of it – by taking it to the throne of grace.

Let’s look at one more trait of snowflake people and then we’ll move on. Snowflake people aren’t content being snowflake people themselves. They are bound and determined to convert iron people to become just as weak as they are. Why would they do that? It’s simple. They get jealous. It’s the reason the lazy kids in school make fun of those who try their best to get good grades. The “nerds” as they call them are making them look bad. Have you ever held a job where someone asked you to not work so hard because you were going to make them look pathetic? I have. When people realize someone is stronger than they are in a certain area, they try to weaken, if not utterly eliminate, that threat to their reputation. Sad, but true story.

The Bible speaks of this type of behavior in Philippians 2:3 where it instructs the Christian to, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” It is easy to get in the flesh and to see somehow more successful than ourselves as being our enemy – even if we don’t call them that. At times, I believe every person who has ever been alive has found themselves feeling jealous because someone else is more successful, more wealthy, more popular, or more favored by others. Envy is destructive and the Christian must exercise extreme caution in order to keep themselves from tearing down others in order to make themselves look or feel better.

2

Where Snowflake People Come From

Snowflake People are not born as snowflakes who grow into human beings – it’s actually just the opposite of that. Human babies are born and the adults around them mold and develop those young, vulnerable people into becoming individuals who are too weak to withstand any of the pressures society places on them.

Here’s a perfect example. I’m aware of a situation that occurred several years ago where a parent was volunteering at her daughter’s school. Another parent came up with an idea for door prizes – each child would be handed a paper plate to put their snacks on. Certain plates had a star or something similar drawn on the undersides of them. The parent I’m referring to was in charge of passing out the plates. When she got to her own daughter, she glanced at the bottom of the plates to make sure her daughter received a winning plate. What did that teach her daughter, who witnessed her actions? It taught her that she never had to lose. Her mommy was going to make sure she was always shown favor. She would not grow up learning to handle loss of any kind because Momma Snowflake was too determined to protect her from learning to deal with hurt feelings.

It’s not always a parent who creates a snowflake. Sometimes it’s well-meaning school teachers who try to equal the playing field for all of her students by giving an undeserving student a “Student of the Month” or similar award in hopes of boosting that child’s self-esteem. The message that child receives is, “I got an award and I didn’t have to put forth the effort.” Later on, when that child grows up, he’s going to expect to get bonuses at work – the bonuses intended for overachieving employees, even when he’s not an overachiever. When he doesn’t get it, he’s going to quit his job because he won’t be able to handle the fact that good things come to those who actually put forth the effort to earn them.

Besides parents and teachers, sometimes snowflake people are created by friends. When I was a little boy, one of my classmates came home with me one day and remarked, “Your mom actually goes through your backpack? I would kill my mom if she did that.” A lot of young people are easily influenced by their friends. That young man had some pride about him. He didn’t appreciate having to submit to authority or even the idea of an adult checking up on their children. Had I allowed him to influence me, I would have thought it was the end of the world for my mom to want to look through my school work.

Parents, grandparents, teachers, neighbors, aunts, uncles, and every adult out there has a responsibility of training the young people under their influence not only in how to win, but also in how to lose. We owe it to the next generation to teach them how to put forth their best effort and how to admit defeat without letting it rip them apart.

3

What Is A Snowflake To Do?

Okay, so by now you recognize that you share at least a couple of characteristics of the common snowflake person. What can you do about it?

For starters, let me assure you of this – it is not going to be easy. Undoing bad habits you’ve developed over a period of decades isn’t easy to undo and let’s be honest, it’s not going to happen all at once. It’s going to take prayer as well as some dedication and hard work on your part.

A few years back, I talked to an old friend of mine and just after telling him about some of the things I was struggling with in life, he said, “Brother, I don’t mean to be offensive, but you have a problem.” He went on to tell me I had become bitter. Wow! I had? I knew I had been upset, but I hadn’t realized how far things had gone. The man didn’t stop there. He explained the difference to me between anger and bitterness and when he did, I realized something – he was right! I was about as bitter as I had ever been in my life.

Even though I appreciated his diagnosis, I didn’t know what to do about it and I told him so. The man told me he had once struggled with bitterness as well and that the way he got through it was by using the concordance of his Bible and looking up every verse he could find about both anger and bitterness. He started committing those verses to memory. He recommended I write some verses down pertaining to those two issues and tape them up in places where I would see them throughout the day. He told me to read those verses as frequently as possible, to meditate on them, and to pray and ask God for deliverance. He said that would be a start. Once I had gotten those verses down, he told me I should dig deeper – to be honest about who had hurt me and look up verses about forgiveness and being broken and to study those out and learn them just like I had done about the bitterness and anger. I took this man’s advice and it helped me more than I could ever put into words.

I’m telling you this, snowflake person, because I believe with everything in me that you can gradually improve the way you live your life if you follow that same principle. You need to use God’s Word and the power of prayer to make some changes in your life – and you should start on that today. Make a list of the character traits you possess that are hindering your spiritual growth, your relationships, your reputation, and even your self-esteem. Find Bible verses that go along with those traits – if you struggle, interact with me through my author page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorJRThompson/ and I will be more than happy to help you find some. Meditate on those verses. In other words, don’t just read them one time and move on. Read them. Pray about them. Think on them. Repeat the process several times throughout the day. Allow God to mold you into what He would want you to be. There is nothing like being in the perfect will of God.

Another suggestion I have is to find an accountability partner – someone you can trust and who will take the time to be there for you when you need to talk. Set up a time to talk to that person each week. You will need to be totally honest with them – tell them what you’re trying to improve and then every week tell them what went right and what went wrong. Ask them to pray for and even with you while you’re talking. God is able to strengthen and/or flat out eliminate those weak areas of your life. God wants to see you learn to be strong and of a good courage. Will you let him transform you into a man or woman of iron?

4

Where Do Iron People Come From?

Have you ever been around someone who seems to always have it together – no matter what? They come to work with a smile on their face every day and a complaint never escapes their lips. Surely you know that person is made out of the same stuff you are. That individual has problems just like you do – but perhaps they have developed stronger coping skills. How does that happen?

I don’t believe it comes to a person naturally. Romans 5:3 says, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” Talk about a Bible verse to meditate on and memorize – this one ought to top your list.

When is the last time you shouted “Praise God!” when your bank account got in the red and you had no way of paying your bills? Or bragged on Jesus when someone spread rumors about you throughout the neighborhood? That doesn’t came natural to anyone, does it? But the Bible says we are to glory in tribulations – in other words, we’re not supposed to fall apart when facing mountains we don’t know how to climb.

Iron People, whether or not they know Romans 5:3, have learned that principle. They have learned how to look at things in the right light.

One of my favorite Bible passages comes from the twenty-sixth chapter of Acts. The Apostle Paul had been terribly mistreated and was standing before King Agrippa who asked him to speak up. After everything he had gone through (you’ll have to get into your Bible and read that story for yourself), Paul said, “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:”

Paul thought himself happy. How often do you think yourself depressed or angry or hurt? No one can make you angry; only you can make you angry. The same is true of happiness. Not so sure? Have you ever met someone who flat out didn’t like you? Have you ever tried to fix that situation? Have you went out of your way to do kind deeds for that person, only to have them question your motives or hate you all the more? Kind deeds and generous giving can sometimes bring people temporary happiness, but true joy – that is a different story altogether.

Iron People aren’t born – they are developed. If you really take the time to think about it, it seems that people fall apart because they lack patience. The only way to develop patience is through tribulations. Earlier I mentioned that I used to fall apart at the seams. But God has brought me through so many trials that the little things aren’t important anymore. What kind of trials?

• Being bullied relentlessly in middle school

• Getting bit by a tick and developing Lyme Disease

• Having false allegations made against me and finding myself in the midst of a multi-million dollar lawsuit

• Having my vehicle stolen right out of my driveway – by someone I had bent over backwards to help

• Having the police show up at my door on multiple occasions due to false allegations (and without following proper legal procedure I might add)

• Having multiple failed attempts made to kill me

The list could go on, but I don’t wish to bore you. I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me. What I’m saying is I used to think it was a huge deal if I had to work overtime and miss out on some personal me time. I used to fall apart if my car would break down. In hindsight, those things were minor. There was no reason to allow those little things to stress me out. God is in control. He has brought me through trials both small and large and He is still on His throne. When I’m going through a trial, I should glory in that trial, realizing I’m in it so God can make me a stronger person.

If you decide to pray and ask God for patience, don’t pray that prayer lightheartedly. God doesn’t give us patience by waving some kind of magic wand. He doesn’t just speak patience into our lives like He spoke the world into existence. He makes a person patient through trials so large that we must learn to depend upon Him to pull us through. If you truly desire patience and to learn how to stop being a melting little snowflake, you’re going to have to toughen up and face some difficulties and go through them holding onto God’s hand. Are you willing to do that?

If so, right now, before the devil has time to talk you into putting it off, why don’t you get down on your knees and ask God to give you the patience and strength you need to become a person of iron? As soon as you finish that prayer, pick up your Bible and start making a list of verses you need to memorize, meditate, and pray on or contact me so I can help you find those verses. After you do that, start racking your brain to find a good accountability partner – it can be a family member, friend, co-worker, pastor, neighbor… whoever you’re comfortable with. Make sure you choose someone who will be honest with you and not just tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes the truth needs to hurt and you need an accountability partner who will encourage you to do right – not someone who will excuse you every time you go astray. Whatever you do, don’t put this off. Put a plan in place and start working on it right now. If you don’t do it today, more than likely you never will.

5

About The Author

JR Thompson and his lovely wife, Hannah (who was raised as a part of a missionary family), reside in a small ghost town in Montana. Thompson has written a couple of Christian novels, which you can check them out on his author website.

In addition to writing, Thompson currently serves as an assistant pastor at a local church and keeps himself busy in full time ministerial work.

He and his wife have three goats who believe they’re dogs. Don’t worry – they don’t eat their goats. As a matter of fact, they don’t milk them or get any profit from them whatsoever – no profit other than friendship that is. The goats’ names are Shazaam, Reese, and Dipstick.

If you would like to stay in touch with author JR Thompson and be notified of any new releases or special deals, sign up for his free newsletter.


Snowflakes to Iron

Snowflakes melt when met with the smallest amount of heat or pressure. Snowflake people are the same way. Unfortunately, our society is becoming overpopulated with human beings who cannot handle disappointment or stressful situations without bellyaching because the world has stopped revolving around them. It was never God's design for people to be so self-absorbed. God wants His people to be tough. To know how to handle themselves in any given situation without crumbling. He wants them to be Iron People, not Snowflakes. In this mini-book, readers will learn how to overcome the Snowflake Syndrome that is plaguing our world.

  • ISBN: 9781370976478
  • Author: JR Thompson
  • Published: 2017-09-08 21:20:09
  • Words: 5540
Snowflakes to Iron Snowflakes to Iron