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What's New:

  • I will be doing a webinar on Thursday, May 17th. The topic will be “Are People Misusing the Bible to Keep You Trapped in a Destructive Relationship?” Click here to register for either our daytime or our evening webinar.
  • The 2018 Conquer Conference: Be Brave, Grow Strong tickets are here. This event happening October 2018, will be amazing. You can click here for more information.

How Do You Know When Someone is Truly Sorry?

By Leslie Vernick

It’s not always easy to tell if someone is truly repentant. They may say the words, I’m sorry, or cry buckets of tears, but how do we know if their tears are for the pain they’ve caused or for the pain they are in?

The apostle Paul speaks of two kinds of sorrow, worldly sorrow that leads to death and godly sorrow that brings repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). I believe that it is crucial that the body of Christ learn to distinguish between the two especially if we are a people helper working with individuals in destructive relationships or ourselves are in one.

Worldly sorrow is a self-focused sorrow. It may contain great emotion, tears, and apologies, but the grief expressed is for one’s self.

The person mourns the consequences of his or her sin and what she has lost. This may be a marriage, a job, a reputation, friends and/or family, or can even be one’s own idea of who they thought they were. Here are some of the things we often hear a person say when they are sorrowing unto death.

  • I can’t believe I did such a thing.
  • Why is this happening to me?
  • Please forgive me – implying, please don’t make me suffer the consequences of my sin.
  • Why won’t he/she forgive me? (In other words, why can’t reconciliation be easy and quick?)
  • I’m so sorry (sad).
  • I’m a horrible person.
  • I wish I were dead.
  • I hate myself.

Judas is a good example of this type of sorrow (Matthew 27:3-5). After he betrayed Christ, he was seized with remorse yet it did not lead to godly repentance, but self-hatred and suicide. It is natural to feel compassion for the person suffering such emotional and spiritual pain.

However, it’s crucial to not confuse this kind of sorrow with the kind of sorrow that leads to biblical repentance, especially when you are the victim of someone’s sin or you are ministering to both the sorrowing sinner and the one who has been sinned against.

One-sided forgiveness may be granted, but biblical reconciliation is not possible when there has been no genuine repentance.

Godly sorrow demonstrates grief over one’s sinfulness toward God as well as the pain it has caused others.

John the Baptist said to the religious leaders, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sin and turned to God” (Luke 3:8).

Below are eight evidences that demonstrate fruit of genuine repentance.

  • Accepts full responsibility for actions and attitudes, doesn’t blame others or situations.
  • Acknowledges sinfulness (instead of “I can’t believe I could do such a thing”).
  • Recognizes the effects of actions on others and shows empathy for the pain he/she’s caused.
  • Able to identify brokenness in detail such as abusive tactics, attitudes of entitlement, and/or areas of chronic deceit.
  • Accepts consequences without demands or conditions.
  • Makes amends for damages.
  • Is willing to make consistent changes over the long term such as new behaviors and attitudes characteristic of healthy relationships.
  • Is willing to be accountable and if needed, long term help.

In my work with couples who have experienced grievous sin, I have found that it is not sin that ends a marriage.

All couples experience sin. Rather, it is one’s blindness and refusal to acknowledge their sin and repent that makes reconciliation and healing impossible.


He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God's Presence and Protection

By Carol Kent

He Holds My Hand is a page-per-day 365-day devotional. Based on Scripture, this devotional is written as if God the Father is speaking His words of comfort and protection directly over you.

When Carol Kent’s son was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Carol was consumed with grief, sadness, and despair. She was distraught wondering why God permitted this to happen. She had prayed for her son since he was a small child. He had been raised with biblical principles and daily prayer. As Carol tried to make sense of everything, she couldn’t help asking, Where’s God when it hurts so much?

In the middle of her sorrow, Carol turned to the place where she had always gone for comfort―the Bible. She was desperate to hear God’s voice. She soon discovered that the best way for her to “listen” to His voice was to meditate on Scripture and then write out what she believed He was saying. She wrote it as if it was His prayer over her life, and it comforted her. It was as if He took her by the hand, as a father would guide a child, and He gently led her in the direction of unconditional love, renewed hope, and fresh faith.

Know without a doubt that God is with you and stands ready to protect and guide you. He holds your hand, and He won’t let go. Listen to God’s voice and put your hand in His. He is your Comforter, your Healer, your Teacher, and your Joy. Remember He holds your hand, and He won’t let go.

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of 50 Life Lessons for Grads by Janet Holm McHenry are Caroline F. and Mary S.


Upcoming Events

June 1-2, 2018
Community Church at Tellico Village Loudon, Tennessee
For more information please click here

Want to have Leslie speak at your event? Click here to find out more information.

He Says He’s Repentant, But We’ve Been Here Before

Question: I left my husband of 27 years after yet another episode of out of control rage, this time witnessed by our 24 yr old daughter. It was because of her that I was able to get away from him that night.

I later read your book and it confirmed to me what I had thought over the years that he is an abuser and it’s not going to stop. I filed for divorce.

My question is this. He says he has repented and wants our marriage to get help. He says it’s not just him but I have issues too. All the same stuff I’ve heard a hundred times.

Am I wrong for going ahead with the divorce? We have tried counseling and lots of intervention over the years. It always seems to work for a while and then the same patterns start all over again. He says I’m disobeying God if I divorce him. I’ve been gone almost 4 months. I can’t imagine going back. Every time I have in the past it makes it harder to leave again?

Answer: No, you are not wrong going ahead with the divorce. You have given him plenty of time over the 27 years you have been married to prove that he is committed to changing his abusive ways but he keeps returning to them.

His goal right now is to make you feel responsible for ending the marriage instead of him seeing that it was his consistent lack of change that has brought you to this point. He also wants you to feel guilty and afraid so you will question your decision to end your marriage. He does this by injecting confusion into the narrative with bits of truth and lots of conjecture.

For example, he starts by telling you that he’s not the only one with issues so therefore by implication, you have no right to say, “I’m done being abused.” Of course, you have issues. Everyone has issues. But he wants you to question your boundary around “I will not allow myself to be abused.”

Here’s What People are Saying About Leslie’s Conquer Support Group

This group has been a blessing from God at the worst time of my life. The support has been phenomenal from women who truly understand what you're going through. The fact that Leslie even responds to facebook posts is amazing. The monthly calls have been a tremendous help to me and now there is a second call. These phone calls are truly a wonderful counseling session. I am helped so much by Leslie's answers to each woman's question as it always seems to apply to my life too. I am so grateful Leslie makes sure she answers everyone even though the call lasts longer than planned. I feel that Leslie's wisdom, compassion, and Christian heart is displayed on each phone call. I am thankful she has made all of this available no matter where you live.

Thank you,



Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.


Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States