Abbess Michaela on Circumstances and Sin
“Having already embarked upon the season of the Lenten Triodion, we thought to share a general word about our Saviour’s commandment against the sin of judging. As with all of our Lord’s holy teachings, His goal is not to constrict but to free us, to prepare us for His heavenly kingdom. We all know it is a sin to judge another. Reflecting on the reason behind this admonition, however, elevates our understanding to the glory of our Master Christ, Whose omnipotence is such that He alone, truly, is the Supreme Judge of all, the One and Only Knower of Hearts, our Master and Lord!
We have perhaps all experienced having either judged or assessed another’s situation, only to find out some hidden awareness of why a person was acting the way he was, that the circumstance was not at all as we thought, or maybe that the person’s motives were completely different from what seemed apparent. It is a humbling experience to see how quickly we can judge by our limited minds, and be so far from the truth concerning another. No one can know the contours of another’s hidden soul except He Who created it, our Lord Jesus Christ. For each one of us, personally, He is the Master, the One before Whom we will give our final accounting.
Two people can be in the same circumstance, and each of them could, for instance, fall into the sin of anger. For one, it might be a very grave sin; for the other, it might be a worthy victory to have only sinned with the tongue and not to have given over to the passion of physical violence.”
– St Paisius Monastery newsletter