They say first impressions are important, and perhaps I need to take stock and listen, although I do think I go out of my way to give a friendly greeting when meeting someone for the first time. The sad part about that is if that first impression isn’t favorable, then the person who was viewed has to prove otherwise to get out of that bog of judgment. It is such a terrible mistake to think we can look at a person and surmise something of their full measure.
Even if we can discern just a bit of this or that, that doesn’t at all mean the script of the story is done for that person, especially when they’re young. And they may be this or that when it comes to politics and other key issues, etcetera, but we do well to put the best construction on them, remembering that decades past we were even more a work in progress than we are now, and that work continues to the end.
We do well to find the good in another and emphasize that to ourselves, while praying for anything about them which might concern us. And shrugging off much of the rest.
Jesus reminds us that how we judge others is how we ourselves will be judged (Matthew 7). Do we want to be judged fairly with plenty of grace thrown in not only for good measure, but because we need it? Hopefully not so much because of overt sins, but because of deficiencies which can be blind spots to us, but a glare in others’ eyes. Yes, above all we need to look in the mirror and judge ourselves; we need to look with prayer and discernment at ourselves. Then in grace we might be able to look at another and encourage and help them along the way.