Correcting lousy behavior is needed in all relationships., Unfortunately, demanding change is often the tool of choice. And, too often, the demand for change is about you wanting relief from their bad behavior.
Remember the five freedom actions to aid gentleness.
When correction is needed – hope, pray, and encourage change; sometimes exhort and rebuke.
Because we tend to judge, skipping the first four and going straight to rebuke is extremely easy. That is why God provided Galatians 6:1-5. You want their behavior to change, but instead of seeking to restore them, rebuke is your tendency.
Consider a friend telling you, “Your behavior is bad right now. You may not like hearing that from me. I hope, pray, and encourage you to change. And, whether you change or not, I am choosing to love, accept, and value you.”
That friend is telling you the truth in love. Judging is the more likely path a friend might take, but God wants us to act like Him. Other people have the freedom to choose to do what is right or wrong. The issue is whether you will love them even when they choose wrong. Will you hope, pray, encourage, and sometimes exhort and rebuke?
Growth is encouraged with the assurance of love and the prospect of hope! – Unknown
You can accept someone and still correct them. It starts with following the Spirit and listening to Him as He focuses your attention on your behavior – not their behavior. Consider asking, “Am I pleasing God now?” “Has my behavior been pleasing to God recently?” Those questions are for you, not your neighbor.
Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. – Dinah Craik
As a further reminder, consider God’s invitations below.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
…that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God – Colossians 1:10
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God. – 1 Corinthians 4:5
…that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1:7
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6
Each of those invitations focuses on your growth which will equip you to help others grow.