John Maxwell says that we judge other people by their actions, whereas we judge ourselves by our intentions (Winning With People).
That really struck me! Jesus said , "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgement." (John 7:24).
I know this partly leads on to 'Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins'. But there's something more there. It also reminds me that people cannot always know my intentions.
To a large extent they have no choice but to evaluate me on my words and actions. Whereas my intentions dominate my view of myself. To see myself as others see me I need to 'switch off' my intentions and just look at my actions. And I must do my very best to have my actions reflect my intentions. Because at the end of the day my intentions could just be something found inside my head with no impact on the real world.
But I often find it SO difficult to genuinely express my intentions in action. It is so easy to say the wrong thing at the wrong time!