Jesus teaches us time and again not to judge or ‘assume’ something about another.
This theme of being non-judgmental shows up liberally in the gospel accounts, as well as many epistles. Now, what Jesus is saying is that we are never to judge another person’s heart, motivation, or intention. (We can and should judge others’ actions and behaviors and make reasonable inferences).
God used a seemingly ridiculous interaction to teach me a very valuable lesson in this area.
Allow me to paint the picture: l am a mother of 7. This is to say that I wake up at any significant noise made by a human being (or other animal) in my house. On the weekends my husband typically rises earlier than I do, and I enjoy sleeping in. On Saturday after Saturday, my husband would get up, and upon exiting our bedroom, he would leave the door open.
Of course, as soon as he or one of the kids got loud enough (meaning normal conversational tone), I would wake up.
I would immediately be perturbed and wonder how my husband could be so thoughtless. I would proceed to shut the door (louder than necessary), and return to bed. This occurred week after week while I continued to judge, condemn, and interiorly berate my husband for this act. Now, I see myself as a peacemaker (?) who avoids confrontation when possible. Through sessions with my spiritual director, and a counselor, I have been doing work in this area.
Realizing that positive confrontation is a sign of a healthy relationship, I decided to bring up the subject of my husband’s perceived lack of concern for me.
I simply asked him to please close the door whenever he left the bedroom if I was still in bed. I explained that I was easily woken up by any noise made downstairs. He understood my point and agreed to my request while relating that he only left the door open because he knows that I get cold very easily (true). He thought (correctly) that the room would heat up better with the door open (as his body heat would be gone from the bed).
At the sound of these words coming from my husband, my crown as the daughter of the King was shown to be sorely askew and tarnished, and yes, the sacrament of confession went on my to-do list that day!
How easy it is to think the worst of others. How quickly we determine the state of someone’s soul, which only God has the capacity to do. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I praise God for his mercy on me a sinner, and I thank him that he opened my eyes to the beam that was protruding from them.
P.S. Here’s a shoutout to my amazing and very THOUGHTFUL husband!