There are many ways to divide a team or a coaching staff. Arrogance. Jealousy. Losing. None of these divides as quickly, however, as the words that come out of our mouths.

Proverbs 10:19–“Where there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (NASB).

Transgression is the crossing of a line, the sinning against another person. Such action is unavoidable when a person cannot control his mouth. No, you can’t get back what you said. Yes, you really did mean it. Yes, you do know where that came from–your heart! See Luke 6:45.

Unity among teams, coaching staffs, families, churches, organizations, or anything else is dependent upon controlled speech. Those who talk uncontrollably will inevitably utter hurtful and destructive words; sometimes the damage is irreparable.

But, shouldn’t I speak my mind? Not always. Scripture makes clear that we are responsible for every word we say (Matthew 12:36) and that our speech carries tremendous power (Proverbs 18:21). We are to speak only what is helpful and out of love (Ephesians 4:29), not whatever comes to mind.

Are your words divisive or unifying? Are they loving or hurtful? If you are a believer in Jesus, you answer to Him on this.

Here’s a prayer for those who relate:

Lord Jesus, I confess my tendency to run my mouth. My words in those moments are neither pleasing to you nor helpful to those who hear them. Please enable me to speak only what is unifying and loving, or to just keep my mouth shut. Amen.