First of all, I saw the "pastoral advice" exclusion in the FAQ. I do have a certain situation on my hands, but what I want is not that you tell me what to do, but that you suggest Bible passages related to the situation. I hope that is sufficiently different to make the question on-topic.
A close relative, I'll call him A, sent me a Skype message:
[Our relative] B is in hospital with pneumonia.
You should scold [our relative] C. She has had a cold since Easter, and I told her to take care of it, but she didn't. Now she infected B.
I protested that I am not scolding anybody, and we started a lengthy discussion in which it became clear that he sees scolding a sick person for being sick and blaming them for infecting further family members as proper behavior and a display of care for both B and C. I think that it is a mean thing to do, and besides, he is in no position to scold B in any way (she is one generation older than him).
I am an atheist and don't know the Bible except for the plot of a few biblical events. A believes in God, but does not participate in organized religion. He reads the Bible by himself.
I hope that there are some Bible passages which relate to this situation. I would like to suggest such passages to A for reading in the hope that, as he trusts the Bible for moral guidance, such reading will help him recognize that a sick person needs help, not judgement and blame.
Can you recommend some such passages?
Explanation of why I think A's behavior is not constructive and his view of the situation shows lack of care. You don't have to read this long part if you already agree that the scolding would have been inappropriate.
Put yourself in C's shoes. You have been having colds and healing them since before A was born. Six weeks ago, he says to you "you are sick, see that you get it healed". Thanks, Captain Obvious. You probably go on taking care of yourself the best you can, the same way if nobody had told you that you need to do something about being sick.
Now B is sick. And A comes along and tells C "It is all your fault! Had you listened to me and healed your cold, B wouldn't be in hospital now!" What's wrong with that?
There is no way this is going to change anything in C's future behavior when she is sick again. If she was sloppy in looking after herself, she either knows it, or believes she did everything possible. If she believes she did everything, she will just feel indignant at the unjust accusation and continue doing what she believes best. If she believes she made mistakes, she is going to avoid them next time anyway, because she is a reasonable human being who loves B too, and is capable of learning from her mistakes without the need for somebody else to tell her so.
It will cause C to resent the person who scolds her. She is not too dumb to know that she might have passed her germs. If she thinks she could have prevented it, she already feels guilt herself, and hearing the accusation will only make her feel miserable without changing her beliefs about the situation, only giving her a negative self-image and the unpleasant feeling of being attacked by A. If she thinks she could not have prevented it, she will not accept the blame, but become justifiably angry at being attacked unfairly. If A scolds her, she will resent him for the scolding. If I scold her, she will resent me for the scolding and A for telling me that she was the cause of B's illness. So his reaction shows that he is unconcerned with C's feelings, or with the negative effects such drama will have on a family which already has to deal with two sick members. And doesn't realize that there will be no positive consequences which could make up for the negative ones.
A is being very arrogant and condescending here. First, it is not sure that B indeed infected C. As an answer said, a cold is mostly viral and a pneumonia is probably bacteria-caused. Second, if she did, it is not sure that she could have prevented it if she had done something differently. Third, if she was the germ source and she could have prevented it, it is not sure that A's advice contained just the action she had to do to prevent it. In fact, knowing him, I doubt that he gave any specific advice what to do. He saw her sick, and told her "do something about it!" Now he thinks that her "disobedience" caused a problem and wants somebody to tell her that she should do as she's told next time. But in reality, he is not entitled to order her around. Also he is not all-knowing (and has no medical qualification), so his conviction that B passed the infection, and that his advice, whatever it was, would have prevented it, is out of place. He just assumes that all his ideas are correct, and therefore C should always listen to him.
Why doesn't he scold B himself but orders me to do it? There is a malicious explanation here, but I don't believe it, because he is not the scheming type. He says that he knows that she won't listen to his advice and there is no point in him telling it, but it must be told. I think she doesn't listen to him because what he calls "advice" is not advice, it consists either of trivial non-actionable orders ("Get this cold healed!"), or of blaming and other kinds of attack. If I would scold her the way he tells me to, she will not "listen" to me this time, but her resentment will hurt my relationship to her and she may stop trusting me in the future if I attack her this time. So, he is not only again showing that he likes to order people around (me), but also mindless of the family connections which will be damaged if I do what he says, which is again the opposite of caring for the family.
He shows that he did not consider my feelings either. After I read the first sentence, I was shocked by the sudden bad news, and my thoughts were mostly of the kind "How serious it is? I want to know more about C's condition and prognosis. Should I maybe damn my deadlines and run to the airport and buy the first available ticket no matter how much it costs?". And I think that such a reaction is easy to predict, and if his concern had been either about my reaction or about C's current state, he would have written details about her condition. Instead, he was preoccupied with assigning blame.
This is not the first time A has shown aggresiveness when kindness would have appropriate. But he is the way he is, and we cannot change his personality. Telling him "You have to become an empathetic person" is just as inconsiderate, and even more futile, than telling B to heal her cold. We are family, we love him the way he is, and deal with his barbs the best we can.
But there are moments when people in the family are under too much stress to be able to deal well with the discord he creates, and I am afraid this can have lasting consequences. Besides, it can hit the wrong person. So I thought that I might prevent trouble if I can convince him to curb his behavior in the most fragile moments. He will probably continue to believe that B is to blame for not doing what he told her, and that he has the right to scold her. But just because he has poor social skills, it doesn't mean he doesn't want to be kind, just that he doesn't know how. If I can point out to him that, by the teachings of the Bible, he should not be judging other people, and he should be extending support to people in need regardless of whether he thinks they are a good or bad person (and I think that the Bible teaches both these things), he may hold back next time.