Wednesday, March 16, 2022

How to Write to Inspire, Not Condemn – Part 2

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Open the door. Swing the door wide to your ideas, your understanding of Scripture, your world of experiences and insights. Open the door to your reader, and beckon them to enter your book and discover the encouragement, drink in the Scripture, and stand firm on the promises of God. 

What kind of “voice” do we need that will cause readers to rush the gate? To open our books each day and run into our world of ideas and principles? 

The voice of a friend. 

When we share our message with the voice of a friend, we will seek to inspire and encourage—not condemn. When we approach the reader with a heart attitude that is “for” them and not “against” them, it will come across in what we say and how we say it. 

A friendly voice doesn’t assume the reader is doing something wrong, and it gives them room to grow. It doesn’t come down hard on the reader’s head—why aren’t you doing this? Instead, it inspires—here’s why doing this is so vital to daily life, to victory, to peace and strength. It inspires action and keeps the reader engaged, making them want to know more. To know more truth, more ways to trust God, more strategies for achieving victory.

Don’t Save a Friendly Voice for the End

We may think that we need to use an encouraging voice just when we drive home our point at the end of an article or a chapter. To end on an uplifting note. Or we might have the tendency to use that kind of voice when we only share application of Scripture. But it’s needed throughout our writing. We can strive to have an uplifting voice:
  • in our lead-ins
  • when we transition to our spiritual point
  • when we share and explain Scripture
  • when we give the why or the how behind our main point
Every step into our world of ideas needs the uplifting voice of a friend. Our tone can convey to the reader that we’re not on the shoreline yelling at them how to row their boat to land, but we’re in the boat with them showing them how to make it and rowing with them. 

With each part of our writing, we can share: 
  • Here’s the story of this particular challenge I faced (or that someone in Scripture faced)—I understand. 
  • Here’s how we can trust God because He’s in the boat with us, helping us. 
  • Here’s the perfect Bible verse for showing how we can look to God in a situation like this—it teaches us how to row to solid ground. 
  • Here’s why it’s worth it to persevere. 
We all want to know that someone cares about the “boat” we’re in, and we want the books we read to help us make it to solid ground. 

Infuse Every Page You Write with Hope

When I’ve found an author who chooses an inspiring voice instead of a condemning one, I begin to trust that author. Through their experiences and faith in God, I learn how to overcome my own challenges and trust God in ways I haven’t before. 

On every page you write, show your readers that you care, and infuse your pages with hope. Here’s what’s possible in life with God! Here’s how we obtain that. Here’s what God does, and here’s what we can do to make things better. 

With the voice of a friend, share hope with your readers, and you’ll cause them to pick up your books again and again. Always seek to inspire, not condemn. You may just gain a reader for life. 

What do you think is the greatest challenge to maintaining a friendly voice in our writing? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and check back next month when I talk about how to address problems (and sin) without sounding condemning. 


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of REFRESH BIBLE STUDY MAGAZINE, and a co-founder of LIGHTHOUSE BIBLE STUDIES. She loves connecting with writers and working alongside them in compilations, such as Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, Collection 1 which is a 2020 Selah Awards finalist.

In addition to online magazines, Katy’s writing can be found at CBN.COM,, and three blogs on writing. She loves to spend time with family and friends, talk about art and crafts in her group MY ARTSY TRIBE, and tend the garden in the morning sun. She makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Connect with her at her blog, WINNING THE VICTORY, and on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.


  1. Ahhhh, friendship, who knew? Thank you Ms. Katy. As the old song goes (I'm old, ya know), I can see clearly now.

  2. Thank you for sharing this hopeful and encouraging message. These are stratagies we can use in our writing, but also in our daily interactions with others.

    1. That's true. Thanks for mentioning that, Katherine!