Letters to Jesus (Perspectives and Perceptions) -1
I cannot deny in myself the fault of judging other people. But I’m curious about the significance of the fact that there are some people I judge and some I don’t. In thinking about the people whom I judge and whom I do not judge it comes to me that the people I know best and, hence, are closest to me, are the ones I judge most. Those I observefrom afar and don’t know so well are, for the most part, the ones I donot judge. In fact, there are many in this latter group that I tend to idealize. The reason for this seems to be because I don’t really know them and therefore can form my own image of them without direct knowledge or experience of them muddling up anything.
The people closest to me whom I know and love most suffer my most critical judgments because of the ways they do not conform to the idealized images I have for them – images I have because of my concept of love for them. But with some consideration it becomes clear that such judgments may keep me from loving them correctly. The more we know about another person and the more time we spend with them the greater is the temptation to judge them and be critical of them. Our perceptions of that person are heavily influenced by our experiences of him/her. Our interactions with them are influenced by this.
Even You had issues with those closest to You: Your apostles, Martha, even Your mother. But judging is different than having issues because issues are annoyances while judgments are assertions of self; and there are no people with whom we assert ourselves more firmly than those we know best. We know with greater certainty what they will say, do, or think in certain situations, but also what we think they should say, do, or think, and then how they should act. This projection of self is a judgment.
There will always be people who annoy us, but to judge anyone is to do yet another thing that puts us squarely in the camp of the Pharisees.