Denise J. Hughes
About the Author

Denise is a lover of words and the Word. She's the author of #DeeperWaters and the Bible study series #WordWriters.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Denise,
    This is so true and not just with judging, but even with making assumptions. I’m guilty of this. I assume something when I don’t have all the facts or the whole story…maybe just part of the story. Also, I am convicted that I am not another person’s judge – only God can take on that role. Trying to let my first response be to give grace and mercy first and then let the chips fall where they may. Great reminder this morning. Sunday blessings to all!

    • Bev, I think you are so right about the danger of making assumptions. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another. I like what you said, too, about letting our “first response be to give grace and mercy.” Amen!

      • Denise,
        Just wanted you to know that I really like and appreciate the Sunday devotionals that you write! I always grasp great truth from how you express it through words!

  2. This is important to remember Denise, thank-you. Ever since I’ve lived in my Community I tend to do this thing where I try and figure out why someone is acting a certain way. I assume either they must not like me or they’re mad at me. I know I need to change that & now is a good time to start.

    Have a blessed day everyone,


    • Hi Penny! Yeah, I get that as I tend to do the same. I’ve learned that I have to keep reminding myself that Jesus will help me to know what I need to do because it may have nothing to do with me and to try to see it through His eyes, to just be kind anyway. But it takes a long time to change it and that is great that you are listening to Him. I pray that you have a blessed day too in His peace and love 🙂

    • You’re not alone, Penny! I think it’s natural to “try and figure out why someone is acting a certain way.” I have to remind myself, time and again, that 99 times out of 100, it probably has nothing at all do with me. 🙂

  3. Denise,
    Yes and AMEN! Let’s quit judging people lest you be judged. I see people at church all the time who seem “grumpy” or down and wonder why. I try to converse with them and find out the problem. In that way I can then pray for them. I am an encourager by nature and want to get to know people. All people want to be loved & cared for. God did not ask us to judge or assume–He asks us to love & care for one another!
    Blessings 🙂

  4. The Sunday Scripture story hit home. When we lost a child in 2007, I am certain I had some similar encounters as the woman that you described in your story. Loss hits deep and hard, taking some of us many years to recover from “shock waves” that some situations bring back some reverberation, so to speak, that shuts us down in frustrating, relational ways. That shutdown response to some very exuberant types, may be misinterpreted. Thanks for pointing out a process that varies, in so many degrees, as to how it resolves, and how it shows up in relational settings where offense can be taken by someone who is yet muted in stages of grief that can come across as relation encounter failures!

    • Maria, thank you for sharing part of your story with us here. I am so deeply sorry for the loss you and your family endured. I think you’re right…immense loss can take years to heal, and the ‘shock waves’ are real, so very real. I pray we’re all much softer, and full of grace, towards all who are grieving.

      • Thank you for that response, Denise. Your response reflects understanding of what I said, with the terms I used to describe them, and that means so much to hear how my wording came across.

  5. A post script on the Sunday Scripture story of a person who may not respond well after grief or tragedy. Grace is certainly important. Doing unto others as we want done to us is still with us from our upbringing as well, though. Within our jobs, for example, there are things we consider critical enough to get right, or to communicate change for the next time (alas, people even get fired sometimes), so that people are better served. Sometimes, maybe this quality of care is good to consider in other settings besides merely a business setting. In our case, having trusted people whom we trusted with our grief being with us when we held our stillborn baby boy, was overlooked or missed. Grace applied. However, we were in shock, stunned, not processing things that led to allowing us free reign of our grief! Those who came afterwards did not hold our baby with us( many people cannot do this alone, it is too hard!) and grieve during that holding, with us. Because of the timing of being before the time of the baby being full term, our pastoral support overlooked going with us to view and to hold the baby. Perhaps a midwife setting threw people off. Grace applied. Not making the death public led to the misperception that we had a” miscarriage — where you just bleed some”. Asking for things to be done differently for others was asked for. Grace applied by us, though not necessarily applied by those we asked. Truly there is tough, raw life, that is not always an ending like tv shows have.
    Let me say to the hurting and wounded, as many are in this day and age of ” hurry, rush, be productive, and get over it” that , I understand that some of us missed being supported when hurts happened. That is really awful and sad! Perhaps some were not held in important losses in their lifetime. Perhaps even as a child, there are those who experienced a grievous hurt that left them with the need to be held safely, and that need is not yet met. That hurts the hearts of those who care! Grace does not stop the side of our family that will, from our experience on, reach out carefully to those in grief to see if we “fit” someone’s need for comfort. We will double check and follow up on the effect of our support, if that is welcomed. There are times we can help immensely in a non hands-on way! America likes the hand-on better and it certainly is more gratifying! From a background of nursing, we will, since that day, also be a helpers, if called upon, to open closed doors where there is a dead and forever gone body. May I appeal that we help those in grief to not bury the dreams of today that can live on, even though some dreams were lost. But may we truly grieve with people versus think we KNOW what they are going through by telling them something we may regret! Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29:11-13 are passages that point to reasons why we should not despair in thinking that loss means God has left us when death hits your family. Help us to be learners of how to be the hands and feet of our Jesus!