Wednesday, April 20, 2022

How to Write to Inspire, Not Condemn – Part 3

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

At the end of last year, I read the comments for a politically-charged Facebook post. Cringe.

I saw that some comments had Christian wording, but the tone was condemning. (And “condemning” is an understatement.) Super cringe.

I know better than to address American politics on social media, but the comments on others’ posts usually lure me in. I want to see what people say. Often, I wish I hadn’t stopped to look.

It’s hard to speak the truth with a friendly voice when someone’s opposing viewpoint strikes our hearts with fervor. Our zeal for our beliefs can cloud our judgment on how to respond. Our zeal for what’s right also has the potential of clouding the intrinsic value of the person we’re talking to. The same can be true for our writing. 

Address the Problem, Value the Reader

More often than not, we write from a fervor for the truth. We want people to know God better and experience life with Him at its best. Our writing usually tackles what gets in the way of that, like fear, worry, other struggles, or trials. We seek to provide proven strategies to handle life’s challenges. 

Sometimes we have to address a three-letter word that gets in the way of following God—sin. How does God want us to speak the truth about sin or anything else for that matter?

“But, speaking the truth in love,
[we] may grow up in all things into Him
who is the head—Christ.”
(Ephesians 4:15 NKJV)

Love—God’s own heartbeat. That’s what we need as we address a problem. To speak the truth in love. To remember the value God has placed on each of our readers. They are precious to Him, and they are precious to us. Do you remember how Jesus shared the truth with the multitudes?

“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude
and was moved with compassion for them,
because they were like sheep not having a shepherd.
So He began to teach them many things.”
(Mark 6:34 NKJV)

Jesus has a shepherd’s heart for people, and with a heart of compassion, He ministered to both crowds and individuals. He taught them the ways of God, giving them the choice whether to accept those ways or not. He didn’t force the right way on them or create a guilt trip to make them do the right thing. 

He showed them who God is—He showed them love—as He taught the truth, and we can do the same thing as writers. With compassion, we can talk about common sin problems, show what Scripture says about overcoming them, and share strategies for victory. The whole time we can seek to encourage the reader instead of condemning them for a sin they may or may not be practicing. 

Our tone can take on this feel:
  • I understand how hard this struggle is. 
  • I don’t want to share an easy fix or pat answer. 
  • God is strong enough, loving enough, to help us overcome this kind of hang up.
  • Here’s what Scripture says about overcoming this struggle.
  • Here are some of the consequences of where this wrong road can take us.
  • But here’s what God wants to do in our lives, and He can get us back on the right road with our cooperation. 
  • Here are some strategies for saying yes to God’s way. (I want to say yes, too.)

Address the Problem, Share the Hope

We can address a problem, but we don’t stop there. We can balance what life is like apart from God with all that’s possible when we choose Him and follow Him. Whatever our topic is and whoever our target audience is, we can share the hope of God’s intervention—His rescue and healing in our lives. 

So instead of condemning our readers for sin that they may not even have an issue with, we can inspire them with God's way that brings hope. Hope of a different reality. Hope of overcoming what harms and of thriving in what builds up. Hope of “better,” “stronger.” Hope of being more effective for God’s kingdom. 

How do you seek to address sin or harmful hang ups in your writing? Do you use certain wording that is more encouraging than condemning?

For examples of wording to use, be sure to check out Part 1 if you haven’t, and see Part 2 for where we need to use a friendly voice in our writing. 


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. Love is the key. Or else we are a clanging symbol, ineffective in our efforts to inspire change. We follow this ideal in Arise Daily: teach, but don't preach. No one wants our bony finger pointed at them!! Great article, Katy.

  2. Thanks for the valuable information in this series, Katy. It is important to learn how to make our point with God's words instead of our own emotions.