Monday, September 26, 2016

Ears to Hear

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15
Mark 4:9
Mark 4:23
Mark 7:16
Luke 8:8
Luke 14:35

See all those references?  Apparently Jesus said this a lot, but He wasn't talking about simply listening. He was assuming that hearing caused an action.  

In James 1:19,20 it says, "But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."  There is a logical progression in this instruction.  James is assuming that you're listening to something, it apparently is offensive to you that makes you speak and makes you angry.  But instead of simply reacting to what is being said, he wants you to slow things down.  Be quick to listen - actually hear what is being said to you, but then slow to speak - think through your response or even better, think through what has just been said to you.  Is there truth in it?  Are you being defensive because it hits too close to home?  And then, be slow to anger.  Don't let things rile you up quickly.  Make sure your anger is righteous, not selfish.  

All of this goes back to the premise that when you really hear something, it causes an action.  Jesus, in all His above quotes, wanted His audience to pay attention and hear, so that they can act on what they are being told.  Unfortunately we tend to hear all day but not act. Or when we do act, we REACT rather than purposefully ACT in righteousness. So maybe we don't really have ears to hear?

Do you have someone in your life who constantly wants your advice? They come to you with their struggles, wanting you to clearly understand the difficult situation they are in, and then ask you what to do?  Then, after you give your words of wisdom, they either defend why they can't do what you have suggested or they leave and never put into practice what you instructed?  Come on, you know those people.  As a matter of fact, you can watch the interest in their eyes disappear as soon as you begin to speak. It's as if they have their hands over their ears while you are speaking. So why are they even coming to you in the first place?  Perhaps a better question is this:  are you one of those people who constantly comes to Jesus with your hands over your ears?

There's not much we can do about friends who don't listen, but Jesus isn't instructing us to encourage others to hear - He's telling us, if you have ears, then listen to what I am saying...and act on it.  Just two verses later in James 1, it says, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."  We delude ourselves by thinking we have sought out counsel for our problems but are still struggling.  We've cried out to the Lord and He's just not answering.  We've listened to sermons and Christian radio and nothing in our lives has changed.

Just because you have ears doesn't mean you're hearing.  When you act on the Word, in faith, doing what is right rather than what feels right, then there is evidence that you are actually hearing.  So today is a Monday.  Most of us heard something yesterday at church or read something this morning in our devotions.  Let's make the choice today to prove our hearing works just fine and put what we have heard into action.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Context, Context, Context

I can do all things through Him 
who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Great verse.  Great motivator.  When it seems like you are in the midst of a storm, or at the base of a mountain, or at the edge of a canyon, this verse can give you the resolve to overcome.

But do you know that this verse is talking about contentment?

Hmmmm...really, Kristen?

Yep.  Want to know how I know?  I read the context. 

Paul is ending his letter to the church at Philippi, and he explains to them that he had..."learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."

Paul's ability to survive whatever circumstance he found himself in was grounded in contentment.  That contentment was accomplished through strength given to him from the Lord.  

So, yes, in storms or when you have a mountain in front of you or a canyon to cross, Jesus is the power source to accomplish anything, but is Jesus your power source to be content?  By definition, contentment is a state of happiness and satisfaction.  Is Jesus your source of happiness (I like the word joy better) and satisfaction?  If the answer to that is yes, then why aren't you content?

We are a very discontented people:
  • we don't like our jobs and our co-workers
  • we don't like our homes and our communities
  • we don't like our hair color or our body shape
  • we don't like our spouse, for that matter
  • we don't like our options for president
  • we don't like the weather
  • we don't like our options in our closet
  • we don't like our options for dinner
  • and we can hardly tolerate what's on tv
In a world of unhappy and unsatisfied people, the child of God should stick out like a sore thumb - or should I say a content thumb.  We should be a light that points to true, deep joy and satisfaction, but if we are riding on the complaint train, no one will ever see the light within us.

So how do we turn this around?  How do we find contentment when life is hard?  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  The answer is clear - our contentment has to come from our relationship with Jesus:
  • He knows where you work
  • He knows where you live
  • He knows you inside and out
  • He knows your spouse better than you do
  • He knows where He is steering the world
  • He knows what what weather He sent your way today
  • He knows what's in your closet and your fridge
  • And I'm pretty sure He's not into tv either
All of these things are a part of life, but knowing the sovereign God of the universe should be what calms your heart.  He wants you to call Him Father.  He wants you to trust that He is intimately involved in your life.  And He wants you to stop whining and complaining and be content where you are, because your lack of contentment is evidence of your lack of trust in Him.  

You can survive the storm, the mountain and the canyon because you are fully known and fully loved.  You can get through another day at work and another day of marriage because you are held in the palm of your Savior's hand.  What could possibly make you more satisfied or joyful than Jesus? Has He not invested enough into you?  You have been completely restored and your future is secure in Christ, so run to Him, walk closely to Him and choose a life of gratitude and contentment because He personally is strengthening you.

Somehow this blog turned into a "Momma Wisen Talk" - sorry about that. It was not my intent.  Dear friend, may I encourage you that it is the things in life that we don't like that push us to our Lord. Why would He calm the winds if those very winds force you to cling to Him?  Rather than long for a life you don't have, find your contentment, find your joy and satisfaction in Jesus.  Then your circumstances will simply be opportunities for you to shine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

4 Pertinent Questions

"And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity;
 the tongue is set among our members 
as that which defiles the entire body, 
and sets on fire the course of our life, 
and is set on fire by hell."
James 3:6

Whoa.  Did you read that verse? Rough.

It's rough because we all have a tongue, don't we?  In the spirit of learning not to poke the bear, I have another tongue post.  As I was driving to church on Sunday, I was listening to a sermon on the radio and the preacher was in James 3, speaking on the power of the tongue.  As I drove, I was like, "Really, Lord? I thought I had a good week and this is what you want me to hear?" (I tend to personalize sermons on a regular basis - that's what happens when you're the pastor's wife and you never know how you're going to inspire a message or how you're going to be used in an illustration).  

It ended up being a really good message, with a very powerful and practical application which is now being turned into my blog.  And so, I now have some guidelines for conversation.  Yes, I still believe that our words need to edify and build up each other, which I mentioned in my bear poking blog.  Let's just build on that premise by adding 4 pertinent questions to ask yourself before you talk:

1. Is this true?

The first question is just common sense.  Is the thing that I want to share or talk about - is it true?  Philippians 4:8 tells us to set our mind on things that are true, lovely, pure, righteous - it is important that our words drip with truth and it starts with setting our minds on truth.  So, ask yourself, is this true?  If it's not or your not sure, then zip it. 

2.  Is this confidential?

Am I talking about something that was told to me in confidence? Why is it that we love to share a juicy story?  We must be trustworthy, and if we're told something in confidence, then we must not share it or pass it along.  This is especially true in the small group settings - we have to be able to share our requests and concerns with the confidence that they won't be passed around outside of the group.  It's an integrity thing. If it was told to you in confidence, then zip it. 

3.  Is this necessary?

Why am I talking right now?  Why am I sharing this? Does it add to the conversation?  Is it important that I share this?  I am starting to think that a high percentage of what I talk about is not necessary, zip, zip.

4.  Is this kind?

So what I am saying is true, it is not confidential and it's possibly necessary - but is it kind?  Am I being kind, are my words kind, is the subject matter kind?  This is the one that will change most of our conversation.  It will stop the bear poking dead in its' tracks.   For some reason we don't like to communicate kind things.  We like to communicate judgments and negativity, rumors and gossip that tend to be unkind by nature.  So if it's not kind, then...well, you know.

True, confidential, necessary and kind.  

These are four great boundaries to put around your speech.  Remind me again why we are doing this?  Because poking the bear is costly?  No, it's bigger than that.  It's because the tongue is a powerful tool in life - a tool that can be used for God's glory or a tool that can start a fire and burn down a forest in the blink of an eye.  James 3 warns us of the dangers of an unbridled tongue and any restrictions that we can put on our tongues are a help in life.  Ultimately if we change how we think, we will change how we talk.  If our desire is to build up and edify, then naturally our speech will be true and kind.  We won't be breaking anyone's confidence and our speech will be necessary, as edification is always necessary!  

Poor Dave, it's getting mighty quiet around the house...but maybe it's a refreshing change!  Of course, he won't have as many sermon illustrations, so that might become a problem.  How's the noise level in your house?


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Are You a Counselor?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all COMFORT,
who COMFORTS us in all our affliction
so that we will be able to COMFORT
those who are in any affliction 
with the COMFORT with which we
ourselves are COMFORTED by God.

II Corinthians 1:3,4

I'm just going to say it.

If you are in Christ Jesus, you are qualified to counsel.

Ugh.  I can hear your resistance already. "I can't counsel!  What do I know about anything? It's not my calling.  There are others who are way more qualified than me to counsel!"

Personally, I don't even like the word "counsel" - I'd rather call it "disciple" but no matter what you call it, if you know Jesus, you are qualified to comfort those in affliction.

There is a mindset in the church that in order to walk through a valley with someone, you need to have walked there before.  Now, I am not going to de-value the wealth of knowledge that comes from  experience, but  experience alone does not qualify you to counsel.  

I also want to add, I say "in the church" because in the world, you need degrees.  In the church, you need experience.  If you've had an abortion, then you are qualified to counsel women who are post-abortive.  If you have been divorced, you are qualified to counsel women who are in the throes of divorce.  If you have had addictions, then you are qualified to work with the addicted.  This is what seems to open doors in counseling in the church - what is your past sin and who can you reach out and touch?  What this produces in the mind of the counselee is,  "I can listen to them because they know what I am going through."  

All of this makes sense in a very limiting way.  Past experience does open the door for great testimony of God's love and provision, and when someone who has walked through a divorce can come alongside someone who is currently entering this experience, it is a blessing to have that knowledge and past to identify with the pain.  The problem is that valleys aren't identical.  If we rely on common circumstances as our foundation for understanding, then we are limiting the call of counseling to those who have very specific past sin to share.

Then there's the problem with God.  You see, God says that if you are in Christ, then you understand the brokenness that sin produces and you have experienced the grace that all men need, therefore you are qualified to extend compassion and comfort because you have been comforted.  That's what II Corinthians 1:3,4 tells us.  Because God has comforted us in our affliction (which is the condition that brought us to Jesus), then we are able to comfort those in ANY affliction (because what they need is the grace and mercy that has already been extended to you.)

You are qualified because you have experienced the mercy and comfort of God.


The great commission is to go and make disciples.  This is the call of every believer.  Counseling is simply disciple-making.  Is life hard?  What does God say about it?  Are you depressed? What does God say about it?  Are you suffering? What does God say about it?  Are you angry? Are you lonely?  Are you frustrated?  Are you sorrowful?  Are you lost?  Tired? Hopeless? Addicted? You name it, what does God say about it?

This is basic discipleship:  taking the troubles of today and bringing them to a loving God, who has given His Son so that we can know Him and have life.  It doesn't matter where you have come from - if you have come to Jesus, you can bring others.

You know the way.

You are qualified.

So who are you discipling?  Who are you walking through the valley with?  To do this, you must know God's Word, so keep studying and ask the Father to bring someone who needs help into your life.  Then watch what He does next!

(((By the way, I haven't poked the bear in a couple of weeks and life is so much better!!!)))

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September Love

For everything there is a season, 
and a time for everything under heaven...
Ecclesiastes 3:1

How much do we love September?  Why do you think that is?

I think it's for several reasons:
  • Kids go back to school (this can be the cause for rejoicing or tears, but either way, it means a full day to get the house clean, laundry done, groceries bought, closets organized, bills paid, grass mowed, garden weeded, pets vetted, hair done, car washed, Christmas shopping done - yes, I went there - or a thousand other errands with uninterupted focus) 
  • Orange is back...(just in general, isn't orange great?)
  • ...and so are pumpkin lattes - if you're into that sort of thing, I hear they're the bomb.  But even if you're not a coffee drinker, pumpkin recipes are the best when the air gets crisp
  • Speaking of crisp, Honey Crisp Apples are back, too!
  • Fall sign-ups at church are in full swing - bible studies, conferences, men's meetings, small groups - you just walk into the foyer and the whole world is calling you to write your name on the sign-up sheet
September is a new start, a new opportunity to get back on top of things and spiritually, it's a new season to delve into the Word and grow.  No wonder everyone is so fired up in September.  The problem is that the energy of September flows into October but starts to wane in November.  There is a second wind that kicks into gear in December, probably because of all those Christmas cookies sitting around but then January hits.  Then February.  By March you basically say to yourself, "I'll commit to Bible study next September.  I'm just worn out and need some sunshine for the time being."

This is the pattern of the year, and friends, it's time to break the pattern.  I love September because I love routine.  Yes, the fun of summer is great - late night walks under the bright stars with a warm breeze on your face and an ice cream cone in your hand is all good, but faithful routines are what wins the race in the long run.  And we're in a race that needs a good steady pace, including your spiritual growth.

So, let's not jump in with both feet, knowing that you historically haven't finished well.  Let's actually commit and follow through.  There's nothing that feels better than a finished commitment.  Sign up for small group, do the homework, pray for the members, make your pan brownies and be transparent...for the WHOLE year.  Jump into the ladies study at church and when the urge to sleep in or watch online, hose it off in the shower, put on some clean clothes and get to study.  Attend a conference or two and actually put into practice what you have learned.  Be faithful in your service at church and on the Sundays you don't serve, show up early, have a doughnut and make a new friend.  Invite people to have lunch with you after church and tell them what the Lord is doing in your life - not just in September but all the way through to June.  

Then when the kids are back home again, spend the summer longing for September when it starts all over again.  Yes, there is a season and a time for everything.  Let's make September, 2016, the time when we committed to growth and then put in the effort necessary to experience said growth!

You are loved!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Notes from the Margins

Do you write in your Bible?  

I was flipping through the pages of my Bible today, reading some of the margin notes and decided that today would be a "Notes-from-the-Margin" kind of day.  What I love about the margin notes is that they cause me to read the passage they are next to, so that I can remember why I wrote what I wrote.  So the margin notes, while not inspired, are pushing me to the Word, causing me to remember and praise the Lord for what He has taught me and continues to do in my life.   Here are some of the margin notes, mostly from sermons at Harvest, from my Bible. Feel free to look up the passages...

  • Elohim - plural word that uses singular verbs (hmmm...evidence of the Trinity in the grammar...Genesis 41:16)
  • Religion without obedience is worthless (I Samuel 15:22)
  • At the precise moment you are in the trial, God is present (Isaiah 43:2)
  • Fear is believing that something is stronger than Jesus (Luke 8:22-25)
  • Sanctification is the process of forgetting about ourselves (Luke 10:25-37)
  • Greed says, What you give me, God is not enough and it's not good enough (Luke 12:13-34)
  • Jesus is found innocent and condemned to die - if He was found guilty He would not have been worthy (Luke 23:13-25)
  • The way I live reflects the One I follow (John 3)
  • Fellowship is common participation in God (Acts 2:42)
  • Commitment plus the Holy Spirit equals boldness (Acts 4:31)
  • Holiness is the best thing God has to offer and the #1 tool He uses to accomplish holiness is suffering (Acts 12)
  • Justified - declared innocent despite guilt (Romans 5:1)
  • Repent - Stop, turn around, head in the opposite direction (Mark 1:15)
  • To the Pharisees - I am a new way of thinking - you can't just incorporate me into your old way of thinking! (Mark 2:21,22)
  • To know the scriptures is to know the power of God (Mark 12:24)
  • Failure to invest what I have entrusted to you is a great wickedness (Luke 19:26)
  • Repentant people recognize sin for what it is! (Psalm 51)
  • You don't need to forgive yourself, you need to believe in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1)

Okay, so the list could go on and on but here's the point: there are some pretty brilliant truths that come from the teaching of God's Word.  When they come out of your pastor's mouth, write them in the margins...they will continue to bless and encourage you way beyond any particular Sunday morning...

You are loved!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Stand Firm

 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Exodus 14:13,14

Fear not.
Stand firm.
Three things Moses told the Israelites to do as they stood watching the world renown army of Egypt barreling down on them, chariots and swords a-blazing, with the Red Sea lapping the shore behind them. There was no where to go. Be killed or drown - it was over.

Rewind a few weeks and things had been pretty crazy in Egypt. God was striking the Egyptian people and their gods with plagues that only He could fashion. Then the day came when Moses told the people to get ready to leave, because it was going to happen for real this time. Not like the nine times before where Pharaoh changed his mind.  

So the people followed Moses' instructions and in the blink of an eye, two million of them were on the road to the Promised Land. Until Pharaoh did what he always did - changed his mind. Only this time, the people were hemmed in by the Red Sea, and their previous owners were pretty angry. They were fueled by the death of their sons and now Israel was standing at death's door.

But God.

But God had brought this calamity upon Egypt because He had a plan. God had been the One with the instructions. He was the One in the bright pillar of cloud they were following. God was going to keep His word...and Moses knew this. Moses had met with God in a desert and had stood before the preeminent world leader and told him his prize work force was done serving him. He had returned ten times to warn of the consequences of disobedience and he had been the one to lead them out on that fateful day. So Moses stood before the people and over their angered and panicked shouts, he told them to do 3 things:  fear not, stand firm and see.  

Fear not. Moses was confident that fear would not produce anything good that day, and he was confident that fear was not necessary because his confidence was not in their ability to defend themselves but in the One who had already revealed His power, His plan and His provision to Moses. So Moses knew he'd have once chance to speak to the people before the show began and he kept it short: fear not, stand firm and see.

Stand firm. Here's why they could stand firm: because the people of Israel had already stepped out in faith and followed God out of Egypt. Standing on the shores of the Red Sea was not the time to change course. Moses told them in two words to be confident in where the Lord had led them. The key was that when God instructed them to get ready to leave, to kill a lamb and smear the blood on their doorposts, to get moving out of Egypt, these people had obeyed. The key was knowing what God wanted and doing it.  Because they had obeyed God, they were in quite a mess and Moses charged them, quit looking at the mess and look at your God.

See. Actually it was, "See the salvation of the Lord."  Boom. Mic drop.  Moses' confidence was in the God who led them into the storm, who led them to the shore of the sea, who hardened the heart of Pharaoh and sent the army. Moses looked at the people and said, watch this.

God moved from leading Israel to protecting them. He moved from the front of the line to the back.That bright cloud, which then turned into fire at night, stood as a barrier between the army and the people. Then it says this: 
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. (v. 21,22)

Not sure I've seen those two words before: all night. Moses lifted his hand and God sent a strong wind that blew all night. Don't miss this picture - the army, driven by their anger and loss, is trying to get to the people, God is standing as a barrier, the people are watching a strong wind stir the waters and by dawn, the salvation of the Lord appeared in the form of dry ground. Must have just picked up the mic because, boom, it was just dropped again!

The story goes on and for sake of time, I'll let you check it out yourself but, friend, don't miss this truth - when we are following the instructions of God and adversity comes, we must stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord.  He is not absent, nor does He ever abandon. Yes, sometimes He walks you into a valley, but have confidence in His word and in His promises. Stand firm and see. It's coming and when it does, it's going to be awesome! The question you must ask yourself today is, am I doing what God wants me to do? The answer to that question will either cause you to get back into His word or give you the courage to stand firm.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Poking the Bear

"Therefore encourage one another 
and build one another up as you are doing."
I Thess. 5:11

I've been poking the bear lately.

Here's what that looks like for me.  As in anyone's life, good things happen, as well as bad.  My focus has been on the bad.  Actually, not necessarily all bad but things that I can mull over in my mind and make bad.  I am assuming they are bad and then I mull a while longer...until my husband gets home.  Then I start talking and he becomes the bear I am poking.  So instead of me simply corroding my own thoughts, I am transferring the negative to him, with my own spin on it.  Not good.  Not good for me and certainly not good for him.

My new motto that I am saying to myself these days is, "Knock it off, Kristen."  I'm saying that a lot lately, as I am trying to take my negative thoughts captive.  I am sure this is shocking to my readers who think every thought in my head is scripture, but it's true.  I can have negative spirals and the problem is that when I go down, I can pull those around me down with me...and I've got to knock it off.

When our thoughts turn negative the impact on our life is great, but there is also a ripple effect that we don't realize.  Before we know it, we've got our children complaining and the bear is waking up angry.  So telling ourselves to knock it off is not enough - we have to replace those thoughts with righteousness.  It's as simple as put off/put on.  Put off the negative thoughts - even if they are true thoughts - conversations that hurt, actions that offended, conversations that went poorly.  And put off the negative assumptions - these are the lies that we create and believe in our imaginations.  We must replace them with things that are pure, lovely, righteous and true.

So where do we go?  Scripture, of course!  I Thess. 5:11 is a verse that comes at the end of a discourse on the return of Christ and the trouble that comes before the rapture.  Because we are not children of the darkness, we will not be overwhelmed at the troubles.  Our hope is in the Lord and we can have confidence in His return.  In the meantime, we are to encourage others and build each other up as the struggles and trials increase.  This verse is a great reminder that the ripple effect can be positive.  Instead of poking the bear, I can use my words to encourage and build up, not incite and frustrate.

So here's what the put off/put on process looks like.  First, I have to repent.  I must confess to the Lord that I have been in a negative mood and it has become sin in my life.  Then I have to go find the bear and ask his forgiveness, as well. (If you scratch him behind the ears while you do this, it has a better effect.) Then I need to "knock it off" when it comes to my thoughts.  What am I thinking about?  What can I replace those thoughts with?  Meditating on the Word, reminding myself of the gospel, praying for others, counting my blessings, doing the ABC's of God's character are great options.  And then I need to use my words to encourage and build up...purposefully.  Speak kind, tenderhearted and forgiving words.  Think the best of others.  Let the Lord do what I cannot do, and live within the grace He so lavishly supplies each day.

Before you know it the bear is asleep and in his happy place again.  So thankful today that the Lord has equipped us all to walk in the light and for the transforming affect that light has in me!

Friday, September 2, 2016

One Verse for Life

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, 
just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32

It's hard to pick just one verse to be a favorite, isn't it?  My favorites change, depending on what is going on in my life and what the Lord is teaching me.  But when it comes to instruction, when it comes to knowing God's will there is one verse that rises above them all - Ephesians 4:32.  This might be because it was one of the first verses I ever memorized (thank you, AWANA) or because I use it in every counseling case I've had.  If you really what to know what God wants you to do, this is a great starting place.

Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.  I am confident that if I chose those three words every day for the rest of my life, I would have a good life.  Let's do some quick defining:
  • Kind - having or showing a friendlygenerousand considerate nature
  • Tenderhearted - having a kind, gentle or sentimental nature
  • Forgiving - to be ready and willing to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake
The call, then, is to a life of friendliness, generosity, consideration, gentleness, sentimentality and free from anger and resentment.  Sounds like a pretty good life, doesn't it?  But this verse does not only give us what to do, but why - because God in Christ has forgiven me.  God has exampled kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness towards me.  And if you've been forgiven much, you tend to love much.

A person who chooses to respond to life in this manner will be a walking testimony of God's love and goodness.  When tempers flare, they will have a calming effect.  When sorrow overwhelms, they will give comfort.  When frustration boils to the surface, they will gently point to eternity.

By now, I am sure you are thinking of the one circumstance in your life that deserves your anger.  Someone has hurt you, gossiped about you, cheated on you, maligned you, undercut you.  You're hard work hasn't paid off and God feels far away.  An illness has knocked you off your feet.  There are things in life that deserve anger, frustration and punishment.  

Ephesians 4:32 is consistent with scripture.  Let's see what Romans 12:14-21 says:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 
Be of the same mind toward one another; 
do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.
 Do not be wise in your own estimation.  
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. 
Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 
Never take your own revenge, beloved, 
but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 
Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, 
and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; 
for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In other words, God wants you to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving - and trust Him with the consequences. Can you possibly incur a greater judgment than God?  And we must keep in mind that the wrath meant for us was taken by Jesus.  That, in and of itself, should humble us to a different response when we have been sinned against.  In all things, it is God's will that you be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving.

At work, be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving.  At home, be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving.  At school, be KTF.  With your children, be KTF.  With your spouse, be KTF.  With your in-laws, be KTF.  At church, be KTF.  At the grocery store, be KTF.  

I have often told my counselees that when I die, if my children choose to write "Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving" on my tombstone, then I will have lived the life to which God has called me.  So what are your kids going to put on your tombstone?