Solomon advises we should never hire a ‘fool’ or a ‘bystander’ (one who avoids commitment, connection and correction). Being sentimental in hiring or attempting to be nice to a person can back fire, and normally does. Firing a person (language we can’t use but it amounts to the same) is much worse than not hiring them. If a reputation precedes a person don’t try to be their saviour – you aren’t responsible for their lack of it.
A person is responsible for their own actions and must live with implication before any change is even possible. I fear that in robbing people of responsibility, we have robbed them of the capacity to change – by making everything but their own decisions the reason/s they are in their present predicament. Blame is happy to be moved from one thing to another, but an adult doesn’t play that circular game.
If people are held responsible then they can change, and then we can also make merciful exceptions, but where mercy is a demanded ‘right,’ the enforced norm, real change is seldom in sight. Some people’s circumstances are unreasonably dreadful but even then they need not remain the victim, because, and eventually, a victim will victimize. That is what they have been ‘taught,’ even though it is doubtful they were the willing student.
See Proverbs 26:1-12.