Intentions vs. Actions: The Double Standard
Here is a thought for you to ponder:
We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge others by their actions and behaviors.
How have you experienced this double standard?
No, we are not to judge others at all, yet we tend to judge them by their actions and behaviors. Meanwhile, we only judge ourselves by our intentions.
Here are some examples to jog your thoughts:
"I meant to send her a card, but I ended up getting sidetracked."
"I meant to reach out and see how my friend was doing but never did; hey, at least I was praying."
Can you see how even the best of relationships can be damaged by this tendency?
I encourage you to reflect on these statements and your own experiences.
What if the other person meant well but just could not put that intention into action? What if there were circumstances you did not know about?
What if, instead of being offended or hurt, you chose to assume that there was a very, very good reason why the other person could not do or say what you thought you needed/wanted/deserved?
We never know how life has gotten in the way of someone being able to carry out their intentions.
It always strikes me how often Jesus looked at individuals or even whole groups of people with compassion...it was his go-to reaction.
He is our perfect role model, but so often, our go-to reaction is… not compassion.
Remember to keep a soft heart and not become offended.
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Matthew 7:3 NLT
Give those close to you (and yourself) grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Instead of jumping to judgment, view others' behaviors through the loving eyes of Jesus.