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What's New:

  • Walking In CORE Strength: Our 3 month group is open again. We only open it twice a year and allow 15 women per group. If you have ever wanted to be part of an intimate and personal coaching group, this is your chance. Learn all the details at leslievernick.com/groupcoaching
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When Is It Time to Speak Up?

by Leslie Vernick

Do you ever read the Bible and feel like it says two different things?

For example, Jesus commands us to love our enemies and forgive those who hurt us (Luke 6). He even said that people would recognize Christians by their love for one another. (John 13:35) And Romans 12:18 says, “As far as it depends on you, be at peace with one another.”

On the other hand, the Bible says to admonish the unruly (1 Thess. 5:14), speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and to confront sin, going to the person who has sinned against us (Matthew 18).

So, is the Bible saying two different things? When do you stay quiet and “be at peace” and when do you admonish and confront sin?

Scripture does not contradict itself. There is a time to practice patience and forbearance and there’s a time to confront. But, before doing either, it’s important to define biblical forbearance and biblical confrontation.

Forbearing means we learn to extend grace and live with another person’s weaknesses (because we all have them). It’s an important spiritual discipline. Jesus reminds us to take the log out of our own eye before we try to remove the speck in someone else's eye (Matthew 7:4).

However, forbearance is not weakness. It’s not passive. And it’s definitely not burying hurt feelings and growing bitter inside while keeping an illusion of peace. Forbearing means you are actively working to understand, accept, and forgive an offense without ever talking to the person about it.

Biblical confrontation isn’t blowing up and “letting it all out” when you’ve had enough. Remember, Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger, do not sin.” Raging at someone, (even if you’re “right”) completely disregards the other person and the relationship.

Biblical confrontation has four elements: prayer, preparation, practice, and a plan. Take the time to plan for the right time and place and know exactly what you’re going to say. And, remember, hard words don’t have to be harsh words.

There are three times when I believe confrontation is in order:

1. If what’s happening dishonors God.
(1 Thess.5:14; 1 Cor. 5:11,12; Rom. 2:19-24)

Remember when Queen Esther was told of Haman’s wicked plan to have all the Jews exterminated? She knew this was not time to forbear or keep quiet but to speak out. But she didn’t run out and tell Haman off. Instead, she spoke out after much prayer and thought. (See the book of Esther for the full story.)

Esther was afraid but she knew speaking up was the right choice.

2. When the matter hurts the other person.

(James 5:19-20; Galatians 6:1)

The Bible tells us that we are to be faithful to our friends and our friendships. So, if we observe someone caught in a repetitive, harmful sin or habit, it's time to speak up.

Do you have a friend who's flirting with disaster? Tempted by an affair? Being abusive toward their child or their spouse? Fooling around with drugs or abusing alcohol?

Hebrews tells us to encourage one another day after day lest any one of us become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)

3. When the matter has damaged your relationship with someone.
(Matt. 5:23, 18:15; Prov. 16:28, 17:9)

When someone repeatedly sins against you, it is no longer time for forbearance. It's time to speak up. Both Matthew 5 and Matthew 18 tell us that, if someone has sinned against us, or if we have something against some other person, we're to go and make peace before presenting our offering.

The Bible says, “Blessed are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:5) Charles Spurgeon said it this way: “True friends put enough trust in you to tell you openly of your faults.”

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Lord, I Just Want to be Happy

by Leslie Vernick

With candor, Leslie reveals that readers don’t need new circumstances but a new perspective to discover true happiness. With biblical insight, Leslie guides readers to take simple steps as they…

  • recognize and change habits that, day by day, keep them from experiencing happiness
  • make good choices and learn from mistakes without beating themselves up
  • develop the skills that enable them to let go of negative and painful emotions more quickly
  • transform difficult circumstances so they can live with gratitude, joy, and purpose.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter! (Giveaway only available to U.S. residents)

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

The winners of "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage" by Leslie Vernick are Marlena F. and Randi F.

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Upcoming
Events


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


AACC
September 12th - 18th
Orlando, FL


Lighthouse Christian Church
October 22nd and 23rd
Rosemount, Minnesota


The Village Church
December 3rd
Flowermound, TX


Center for Christian Counseling
Date TBA
Madison, WI


How Do I Stop The Blame Game?

Question: My husband and I are trapped in the Blame Game. He is definitely emotionally abusive and my marriage has been destructive since day one. For a long time, I hid it from others, including myself. Now that I finally see the truth and have been working on my CORE and calling out my husband's inappropriate behavior, we are caught in a vortex of pointing fingers at each other.

Him blaming me for everything is a hallmark of our entire marriage. Now that I am actually doing it back to him (I believe with righteous perspective and motives) he ramps up his scapegoating and turns it back on me.

At times, I genuinely do get confused and start to question my version of events and my ability to interpret reality and make good judgments. Sometimes I feel like I am just as bad as he is, accusing and demonizing him as he does to me. How do I get out of this maddening cycle?

Answer: First let me applaud you for your question. It takes courage to admit that you are not handling things well and that you now see yourself accusing and demonizing your husband as he has done to you all these years.

You are convinced that your motive is good and your perspective right – but I bet your husband is equally convinced that his perspective and motive are just as righteous. Therein lies the problem. The blame game never promotes anyone’s healing, growth, insight, awareness, or change. Never.

What People Are Saying About Leslie’s Walking in CORE Strength Class

Thanks to WCS I could speak confidently in either situation because I was aware of the truth - not exaggerating, not minimizing, just speaking the truth kindly. I could take responsibility for what I had done wrong in my marriage without feeling like I needed to take responsibility for everything levied against me when I knew it was his sin. I realized where I had been over-functioning and allowing my husband to not take responsibility for his children or his work and could step back so he could step up. I am so thankful for this group.

-H.W.

LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS

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.

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