In EmunahSpeak: The Clarity of Context, we said that whatever you see your neighbor do you also did once upon a time or may well do tomorrow with but a slight variation on the theme, not enough to take it out of whatever aveira was the touchstone between your two neshamos at different points in time.
And then we asked: So why is it that there is a Grand Canyon disconnect between the understanding with which you view your actions and the jaundiced eye that you cast upon the missteps of your friend, sufficient to ignite within you a desire to talk about it?
The thrust of the answer was that while we are well aware of all of the circumstances surrounding our failures we are quite often clueless as to the back story attending the other guy's lapse, with the result being as was stated above.
EmunahSpeak: The Clarity of Context addressed the why of an individual's actions to which we are usually not privy.
But there is also the where, as in where someone is holding, which focuses on one's persona as opposed to one's actions, and while we shouldn't be judging anyone for any reason, most of us tend to fall into the trap of appearances.
In the world of appearances, those who have racked up great accomplishments (i.e. knowledge of all of Shas Bavli, the publication of acclaimed seforim etc.) are presumed to be holding in a very good place whereas those who, at first glance, don't show anything are not.
Rav Yerucham Levovitz z"l comes to tell us that it is not so.
He asks why the twelve spies that Moshe sent out to spy the land, who were all great tzadikim, spiritually crash landed whereas Rachav, who by some accounts was a biblical version of a Tel Aviv street walker, reached a nose bleed height of spiritual development.
Rav Yerucham answers that it all depends on where one's ruchniyas GPS takes him. If one is going south, even imperceptibly, fuggetaboutit, because we're going eyeball to eyeball with a potential spiritual freefall.
So much for the spies.
And the flip side is no less true. If one (Rachav et al.) is heading north in growth mode, even if it is sub-atomic progress that's invisible to the naked eye, it's skies the limit as far as future potential is concerned.
In the world of ruchniyas there is no neutral space where one can run in place or tread water. It's either up or down and prior accomplishments or baggage don't come along for the ride.