How can Christians practice fraternal correction without shaming the individual? I understand shame and guilt are supposedly good. Especially when it comes to correcting more personal sins - what is the best way to go about it? Does Jesus care if we are careless or callous with our honest corrections? I have been in a situation where the corrector was basically suggesting the other women was a whore. In all honesty, the women could have carried herself better in the company of men. Suggesting someone is a whore or bluntly telling someone they are desperate for male attention is not the way to go about it, in my opinion.
Here’s a good source I just found:
“Considerateness and affection are the distinguishing marks of Christian charity and also, therefore, of the practice of fraternal correction. To ensure that this admonition is the expression of genuine charity, it is important to ask ourselves before giving it: “How would Jesus act towards this person in this situation?” Then it will be easier to see that Jesus would correct not only promptly and frankly, but also kindly, with understanding and respect. Hence St Josemaria teaches: “When you have to make a fraternal correction, do it with great kindness – great charity! – in what you say and in the way you say it, for at that moment you are God’s instrument.” A specific note of kindness is to give the admonishment in private with the person concerned, and to avoid anything in the way of comments or jokes that might detract from the supernatural tone of the correction.”
(the rest is here: escrivaworks.org/doc/josemaria_escriva.htm)
Correcting somebody in order to make fun of them or to puff ones’ self up would surely be self-gratification instead of a genuine effort to help others. St. Josemaria’s placement of correction as a supernatural occurrence certainly precludes this.
Try to find an empathetic angle - the woman is acting that way, she probably feels insecure for some reason. Set a good example, be a friend, and maybe she’ll open her heart and there will be the right opportunity to gently give her advice how much better her self esteem will ultimately be if she embraces the practice of modesty. Try to get the other person to see this as well. Maybe then you can each help her but without being heavy-handed about it. Pray before your interactions with the woman who is being inappropriate, for guidance when and how and what to say.
From the 365 Days to Mercy app:
December 23, 2015
“Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause.” (St. John of Kanty) How do you disagree with others? Is it done with harshness or anger, or in good humor and kindness? How can your words show mercy? Spirit of Wisdom, grant me the patience to tell the truth in love.
Both great answers.
What the OP describes is accusatory.
A person who truly wants to help and instruct has a much more gentle approach.
It’s all about the delicate art of tact. St. Francis de Sales was a master at this. I highly recommend reading his works to learn how to behave in a Christian manner in all sorts of daily situations and with all kinds of different people.
If you would like a Godly model of correction, read how St. Paul does it in 1 Corinthians. This church was deeply disobedient, but Paul does not shame them, but rather he seeks to build them back up in the faith. He reminds them 3 times that they are the temple of God. Shaming is not God’s way because it can wound people. It tears you down. Gods way is the positive way. He wants to reveal to you what you’re missing. Show you who you really are and build you up. Give you positive motivation. Is this making any sense?
Any particular book of his that comes to mind?