What Happens When We Judge? | Pearls of Promise

What Happens When We Judge?

Airplane Landing

After seven weeks in Shanghai, China, our youngest son, Bret, was scheduled to arrive home at around 7:45 p.m. Friday night. His plane, that connected in Vancouver, Canada, showed a status of “on-time” then switched to “early.” My husband and I hurried to the airport, only to find the Air Canada flight had already landed and passengers were retrieving their luggage. We looked around for Bret. No sign of him.

Maybe he stopped at the bathroom.

Time passed. Still no Bret— so I started to worry.


I asked a couple of the college-aged girls waiting for their luggage, “Do you remember seeing a 6’5,” 21-year-old man, blue eyes with blonde hair to his shoulders on your plane?” He’s hard to miss.

“No, he doesn’t sound familiar.”

We had no contact with Bret because he left his phone in a taxi in Shanghai. That’s another story.


Our son is our prodigal. He also has a mama who prays every for him every day so I am trusting he will one day be a mighty warrior for Christ. Just not in my timing. However, because Bret’s a young man who pushes the limits, my imagination ran wild.

What if he tried to take something through the checkpoint in Shanghai and is sitting in a Chinese jail right now?

I remembered the time, as a boy, that Bret had three water bottles in his backpack when we flew out on a family vacation. Fortunately, the checkpoint security let him slide.

Maybe he’s being detained at Customs in Vancouver for some reason.

Because he didn’t have a phone, there was no way to let us know.


My husband, Jeff, and I, now just short of panic, hurried over to the Air Canada ticket counter for help. The woman at the counter said, “I’m sorry. I cannot give you any information about passengers. Here’s a number you can call for assistance.”

Ring. Ring. Ring. No answer.

Now what do we do? We felt helpless.

Jeff then received a call from a Maryland phone number and something told him to pick up. It was Bret, using someone else’s phone to let us know his flight out of Shanghai flight was delayed, so he missed his connection. The airline rerouted him through Denver and he was going to be about three hours later in arriving.

We were relieved, but then conviction set in.

I judged my son.

Prison bars

I placed him in a Chinese jail and in custody at Customs!

Scripture says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I thought the worst, not the best about my child. I did not give him the benefit of the doubt. Judgment is a lot like worry. Most of the time we are wrong, and what we judged was not actually the case.

So after this experience I am praying to do better and not be so judgmental. I want to suppress vain imaginations and wait for truth to surface.

In Luke 6:31, Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Instead of judging another, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the one we are passing judgment on. Do we want to be unfairly judged?

If the answer is “No,” let’s leave the judging to the only one who has the right to judge and who sits on the Judgment Seat, our Heavenly Father.

Categories: Devotion of the Week


  • Cecilia

    I knew this blog was coming; let’s call it a little “be careful!” in advance from God. Then I walked right into a judgment trap and I failed. Ugh. Apologies have been made, but I can’t help but wonder, will I ever get it right? Praying it is so for the “next time!” Thank you for sharing your blogs! They do make a difference!

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