1. You should keep in mind that you also have many faults that others must bear with and when you are correcting others to never do it in contempt. While you are told to rebuke those that sin before all (1Tim 5:20), when you are dealing with other’s faults, mistakes, and errors you should instruct in meekness (2Tim 2:25).
2. When you correct someone, your motive must always be to benefit and help that person. If that person has a problem receiving correction from you perhaps you are not the person to be correcting them.
3. You should never try to correct someone based on just one side of the story. If you have been given an account of what someone has done, you should never go to that person and try to correct them for what you have been told they have done. You should go to them and tell them that you heard that they did such and such and ask if that is true.
Give the person ample time to explain their side of the story. It is the “simple” that believe everything they are told (Pro 14:15) and it is foolish and shameful to “answereth a matter before he heareth it” (Pro 18:13). Keep in mind that when you just hear one side of the story, it seems right (just) but if you let the other person give their side (searcheth him) you will often be quite surprised that it was not as you first thought it to be (Pro 18:17).
4. You should never correct someone when you are feeling aggravated, annoyed, or upset by what that person did. The Lord may be using that person’s fault to show you your needs and you should go and get before the Lord and pray through – as you are the one that needs to be corrected and helped.
5. It is best to not correct someone in front of others. It is humbling enough to have your faults pointed out, so don’t make it harder on the person by doing it in front of others.
6. Before you correct someone you should first go and pray for them and ask God to show you what he wants you to do. If you feel the Lord is leading you to correct them, make sure you pray for wisdom and carry a prayerful burden for them. It may be that God just wants you to pray for them and not be the one to correct them. Perhaps he wants you to carry a burden in prayer for them for a few days before you correct them. If you notice you are not carrying a prayerful burden for those you feel the Lord has asked you to correct, you need to question whether you should be correcting anyone.
7. Make sure that you are not going around correcting everyone for every thing you think you see is wrong. This would be a full time job and it wouldn’t be too long before you get a reputation for being a corrector and people will start shying away from you.
8. Make sure you are not being a nag and correcting people over and over. After you correct them once, leave it with the Lord and make sure you are praying for them.
9. You need to be very careful with correcting new Christians. Not everyone has grace to receive correction and you want to make sure you are not an offense to one of God’s little children.
10. Husbands need to be careful they don’t deal with their wives like they own them and wives need to be careful they don’t nag their husbands. Pointing out eachother’s faults regularly is going to hurt your marriage more than help it.
11. Children and young people should be taught to not correct each other unless they are mature and hold the respect of their siblings to the degree that they will receive correction from them.
12. When you are going to correct someone, it helps to say some good things about how they are doing also. You could say something like “I really appreciate your carefulness in how you serve our visitors but I just want to point some thing out that will help you to do it better” If you look at the letters to the messengers (ministers) of each of the seven churches in the book of Revelation (Rev 2:1 3:22), you will notice that Jesus started out with something good to say about each of them before he corrected them.
13. You shouldn’t be correcting others for their mote (small fault) when you have a beam (big fault) in your own eye. You need to first take care of your own serious fault and then you will be better able to help you brother with his small fault (Mat 7:3-5).
14. If you are newly saved or just have been recovered from backslidding, it is probably best that you spend your time taking care of your own faults and not correcting those that were living for the Lord while you were out in sin living for the devil.
15. Don’t gossip around the faults of others. If you have a problem with gossip and talking about the faults of others behind their back, you are in no spiritual condition whatsoever to correct anyone. Go first to someone spiritual that has victory over sin and confess your gossip and allow them to correct you.
16. If you have any willful sin in your life at all, you are in no condition whatsoever to correct any one but yourself.
17. Be careful you don’t let a critical spirit get ahold of you where you go around telling others how they could have preached better, testified better, done tract work better, and sang better. If you are inclined to that, it might be that it would be better noting the things that they did well and right.
18. You should not use your authority as a husband, parent, teacher, employer, or minister to force people to accept your correction. You will never gain their respect that way. It is best to deal with people on the same level.
19. You should not make personal attacks or inflammatory or exaggerated statements when correcting someone. Give room for eachother to talk, don’t be interruptive, and make sure you understand the other person’s position. Remain calm and never raise your voice.