“Judge not, lest you be judged,” Jesus said (Matt. 7:1-2). “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged.”

I used to think that if I judged someone else, it was God who would judge me for doing it. This week I am considering a different point of view. What if it is we who judge ourselves by what we perceive about others? For example, on one particularly busy day, I said to George, “I see that you are getting anxious about the housework, but you know I have to devote extra time to my work at school right now.” Well, it turned out that he wasn’t anxious that the house was a bit messy. He was simply concerned that someone had thrown out a smelly container in the trash without the lid. Yes, I was right that he felt concerned, but I wrongly perceived the cause of his concern. Why? Because I’m the one who gets concerned when I get behind on the housework.

Similarly, if we perceive someone else as arrogant, or devious, or uncaring, might that mean that we ourselves are actually the arrogant or devious or uncaring ones? What if instead we chose to perceive others as wounded and in need of love, and we decided to forgive them and love them just as they are?

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