Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram

What's New:

  • Mark August 18th Down: I am doing a free training and you are invited. You can pick between two live options. I will be covering “Four (4) Christian Beliefs that make Women in Destructive Relationships Feel Crazy and Powerless, and What You Can Do to Challenge Them.” You can save your seat at leslievernick.com/joinwebinar

The Sting of Gossip

Leslie Vernick

Have you ever been the victim of gossip? When a couple is having relationship problems, it seems everyone thinks they know what’s going on and they know what should happen.

Only, they don’t know. Usually their information is one-sided and distorted facts. Still, their gossip hurts, spreads like a disease, and can have long-lasting implications. So how do you respond when you’ve been the subject of gossip?

Please know that God hates gossip.

The problem goes back to the beginning of time. Look at Psalm 55 to read David’s intimate story of betrayal by a close friend. You are not alone … countless people have felt the pain you’re experiencing.

There’s no way to be emotionally unaffected when people talk negatively about you. It hurts! The problem becomes bigger when you’re unable to let go of the hurt. When years later you’re still emotionally crippled by the words of others. You must learn to let them go.

But how?

1. Decide. You do have a choice. Many victims of gossip don’t recognize their own power. Yes, lies have been told. Yes, they hurt. But, no…you do not have to live like a victim forever. Recognize the emotional cost to you when you hang on to the hurt. You can decide to release it to God.

But, again, how?

Start with noticing your internal self-talk. Instead of thinking to yourself, “I am so angry or…I am still so hurt…I am being lied about,” make a shift. Instead, think (or say to yourself), “I’m aware that I still feel angry over this…or …I’m aware that I still feel hurt.” Then be curious about that. This isn’t just semantics. It’s a conscious shift in empowering yourself to recognize your negative emotions are still fresh and then decide whether or not they still serve you.

2. Ask yourself, “What purpose do these feelings serve me now?” Feelings are important warning bells to inform you that there’s a problem. Whether your pain is physical or emotional, pain says you need to take care of something. Maybe your pain is saying it’s time to detach from someone. Or, maybe it’s telling you it’s time to lovingly confront someone. But, if your pain no longer serves a purpose, consider whether it’s time to let it go.

3. Find a new perspective. Pain is an attention hog. It wants all of your focus. Instead, begin to look for the things God is doing in your life through this trial. That doesn’t mean you deny the “hard.” It means you acknowledge His presence through it. For example, Joseph (Genesis 41 - 43) lived a righteous life and was sold by his wicked brothers into slavery. That could have given Joseph enough reason to stay bitter. But then Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph and Joseph was sent to prison!

Joseph didn’t pretend that he was on some kind of vacation and everything was wonderful. He was hurt. And probably angry. But he purposely kept his focus on God instead of the injustice he experienced. He allowed his character to continue being developed into the man God created him to be.

4. Refuse to rehearse the negative. This is where you actively practice Phillippians 4:8 (Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.) Friend, this WILL make a radical difference in your life and emotional well-being!

5. Forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation. Gossip (and other sin) can act like a poison to you, mentally and emotionally. Forgiveness is releasing the toxic impact of that poison. It’s refusing to allow that person’s cruel words to have power over you.

6. Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Gossip and lies are evil. Whatever you do, refuse to react with more gossip of your own.. Pray for those who are talking about you and, if there is opportunity, do good to them. By doing this the Bible says you are not overcome and it can be like heaping burning coals on their head. Regardless of what is being said, when you behave this way, a light is being shone on their bad behavior and others will see it for what it is.

Be aware, forgiveness does not necessarily negate consequences of someone’s gossip. For example, you may need to find a new church and new friends. But, like Joseph and David, your character can grow through your suffering. Joseph is remembered for his unwavering trust in God. And, David. He’s remembered as a man after God’s own heart. And, isn’t that a legacy we all want to leave?


The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

by Leslie Vernick

For any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage, licensed clinical social worker, relationship coach, and marriage counselor Leslie Vernick offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse today. Learn to:

  • Indentify damaging behaviors
  • Gain the skills to respond wisely
  • Utilize tools that promote healthy change
  • Stay safe
  • Understand when, why, and even how to leave
  • Recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you

Trying harder to be a perfect fantasy wife won’t help fix what’s wrong with your marriage. Now initiate some changes that can.

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 "Discovering Good News in John: A Creative Devotional Study Experience (Discovering the Bible)" by Pam Farrel, Jean E. Jones and Karla Dornacher are Maria Isabel R. and Mark B.



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

September 8th - 10th
Dallas, TX

Center for Christian Counseling
Date TBA
Madison, WI

Help I Have Nowhere To Go, No One Helps.

By Leslie Vernick

Question: Who is there to go to when no family and the church did not help or listen; they said suffer :((((((((. The assistant pastor said it’s not his place to do anything. The pastor would have cared but they removed him. They even had a man who addresses addictions; still nothing was done. I had to leave there.

And the women were mean to me.

Now all those people are not there anymore, and a new young pastor is appointed. Do I risk going back and what should I say? What to do and nowhere to go?

I shouldn’t have to pay for support or friends or a Christian sister.

I just want to be happy and have never consented to abuse in any form, but I have nowhere to go.

Answer: I am so sorry that your family, friends, and church let you down. Many Christians have no idea on how to respond wisely to marriages that are destructive. In trying to be Biblically helpful they often provide simplistic answers to complicated problems which end up failing both individuals as well as the marriage.

I’m not sure what kind of help you are seeking but if you’re looking for someone experienced in domestic abuse, you can usually find free support groups from your local domestic violence group and their number is 1-800 799 SAFE.

What People Are Saying About Leslie’s Walking In CORE Strength Groups

“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.”



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