One dictum of Christianity that we acquire in our upbringing is, not to judge others.Notwithstanding the scriptural basis for this caution, I would venture a guess that there has never been a human who didn’t, at some time, size up or judge other individuals. I am of the opinion that the caution not to judge others was formulated not so much to totally eliminate our proclivity to do it, but rather to warn us that it is a very dangerous and superficial business. It’s dangerous because of the cavalier way in which we usually go about it – a way that is shallow and inaccurate.
Estimating others can only be done accurately from within the other person. Everything we so easily judge on the exterior fails. We must apprehend what emanates from within that person. Perceptions of outward appearance are absolutely the last and most deceptive criteria. Next last are the words they speak. All this must be discounted to get to their core. The longer one knows a person the more evident this becomes.
I believe this is why marriage is a sacrament. Within the framework of marriage we are offered the opportunity to get to know another individual in a way far deeper than outward appearances or words. We are afforded the opportunity to get closer to the core of another human being than we might have ever thought imaginable. If we do it right our judgments become clear.
It seems to me that this stands up well as a metaphor for our relationship with You as well. Too seldom do we actually contemplate the being of another, as we do Yours, except possibly in marriage. Such spousal contemplation is needed, though usually ignored. It may be true that because of our own faults and limitations we never truly know another, especially in regards to judging them. But contemplating them as we do You is far more valid and far more informative than what we see or hear outwardly.
Until we fathom the heart of another, until we walk in his/her shoes, and until we contemplate the soul (the spiritual core) of another, all judgments are empty and meaningless.