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To Coach or Condemn

The tongue is a barometer of our spiritual health. The tongue allows us to put sins of the heart into action by gossiping, screaming in anger or lying. Conversely, the tongue can be used to build up, support and bless those around us. We can choose to build up people with our words or seek to destroy them. We can choose to be flippant with our words, their delivery and the time at which we offer them, or we can be thoughtful — not only about what we say but also when and how we say it.

Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Many of us have struggled with the ego-driven need to hear ourselves talk rather than listening to others. Pride lies at the root of this sin. It demonstrates an unwillingness to be teachable. As we learn to remain silent, we afford ourselves the time to identify opportunities to be a coach to those around us rather than condemning them. We choose our words carefully, recognizing that even in conflict we are to seek to build up the person we are speaking to.

When we become consistently and acutely aware of the words we use, we are living out the command in Colossians 4:5-6, and those around us notice. We become salt and light, because we become unique.


  • What can I do today to speak less and listen more?
  • In what specific situation can I offer more coaching and less condemnation?  
  • Want to learn more about the book of Colossians? Get the story behind the story in this Bible Need To Know.

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