About the Author

Dawn Camp shares God’s gift of essential oils in her books My Essential Oil Companion and It All Began in a Garden. She is a photographer, essential oil slinger, Mom to eight and Mimi to five. Dawn enjoys movie nights with her husband and steaming cups of Earl Grey.

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  1. Dawn,
    Like you, I don’t like to think that I am hated….how could that be? I’m basically a nice person. But, simply because I belong to the Lord, there will be people who hate or dislike me and what I stand for. I pray that I will love them in my heart and also in my words….that I won’t get caught up in saying snarky things behind people’s backs. My prayer is that what comes out of my mouth whether in someone’s presence or not will be uplifting and not negative. My word for 2018 is “Embrace”. Going to embrace the truth you’ve shared here this morning.
    Bev xx

    • Bev, your words are wise. It takes a constant check to speak only the positive over people, whether in their presence or absence. As I tell my kids, “You don’t have to tear one person down in order to build another up.” Thank you, friend!

  2. This is one of the ways we put the power of the gospel on display, for sure. Only a woman who is trying to love the way Jesus loved would expend energy and emotion in the direction of her enemies. So thankful that “God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners (!!!!) Christ died for us.”
    Blessings, Dawn, as you live your way into the beauty of “Serve” in 2018.

  3. Thank you for this! Praying for your enemies really is powerful! I have experienced this in my life, it not only changes them, but also it changed my own heart! Thank you for this!

    • Marymargaret, I had an experience like this years ago. I was advised to show nothing but kindness to someone in my life who wasn’t my enemy, but was very frustrated with me. It changed everything.

      • Thank you Dawn for your wise wisdom. For 2018 I’m working on being more positive in my life. I do have someone who takes their frustrations out on me. I try so hard to be positive & sweet to this relative but they turn it back on me by being very judgemental. Anyway, I’ll have to pray for them more & ask God to work in me to be a better example of Christ’s love. They are not Christians. I have loved this person for over 40 years & they are so consistently hurtful with their words.

  4. Thank you for this ‘love’ly sharing Dawn – always the love flowing from my heart to those who love me and those who may not – the Lord has laid the word BRAVE upon my heart for 2018 – this year is shaping up to be one of great transformation – I trust that He will bless me with the courage and strength that I need to BRAVE it out.

  5. Good reminder and article. I like the idea of a “word” for the year! I think I will do this too. Perhaps I need to use the word “love”!

  6. Dawn, being hated by those who do not know Christ is expected … I am never surprised when someone who is not part of the body of Christ speaks against me. It hurts, but I can move past those assaults fairly easily. However, when the assault comes from someone within the body of Christ – that is crushing. … and that’s where I am right now. I have been reminding myself of the verses that call us to seek peace, to forgive, and to love. Love is a powerful word – it carries much weight. Paul writes so beautifully about love – he, too, was facing people who were against him; there were misunderstandings, they made accusations against him, and yet, he loved. Being in this difficult place of accusations being made against me and an incredible misunderstanding, I remind myself of what love looks like: Love is patient. I must be patient while the other person sorts through what they’ve interpreted to be true and the reality of what is true. Love is kind. I must be kind. There is not much in a situation like this that I can do, but I can be kind. I can continue to pray for them; I can show them through actions of kindness that I care about them – not that I’m happy with the situation, but that in spite of it, I love them. “Love does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud; it does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking; it is not easily-angered, it does not keep a record of wrongs. Love does not rejoice in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects; it always trusts, it always hopes, it always perseveres. Love never fails.”

    • Marie, just prayed you’d be given the strength to keep showing kindness. Probably one of THE hardest things to do to someone who’s hurt us. Hugs!

    • Marie, this morning in my Bible study I came across this verse:

      “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:14

      I think this is a good word for you in this situation: let the Lord fight for you and defend you, and continue to hold your peace and act in love. I’m praying for you this morning!

    • Marie,

      Praying for God to strengthen you. Showing love & kindness is hard in this situation. I pray that God will soften her heart. May God help you fight this fight.


  7. Dawn, I appreciate this sobering truth. I’ve had only small experiences loving so-called enemies and wow! It definitely doesn’t happen without God. But the amazing thing is that even though the other person didn’t change, the relationship became semi-functional. Without the prayer support of my husband and a few close friends, there’s no way I could’ve continued. I kept thinking about the verse to live at peace with all men insofar as it depends on me—and when I’d want to quit loving this person (just everyday, you know!), I’d realize I COULD do more. But there comes a point where the other person has chosen the depth of the relationship, and loving can take the form of healthy boundaries, too. (Completely different topics.) Thank you for stirring these thoughts, Dawn!

    • Thank you all for sharing your thoughts about this sometimes difficult topic. Oh yes, truly loving can be challenging. I appreciate Pearl, you also briefly mentioning healthy boundaries for this is vitally important in certain situations as well. This is a different but connected topic to loving those who hate us or are consistently unkind, even within the body of Christ. I hope someone who feels moved by the Holy Spirit, will further this discussion about Love, forgiveness and healthy boundaries when necessary.
      Hugs and Blessings.

  8. Hated. Wow. A strong word, isn’t it, Dawn, and good for the transparency of that pastor. It’s good to be honest; then we know how to pray. I don’t know if I have actually been hated or not, but I have felt the sting of jealousy and dislike aimed my way. It’s a terrible feeling, especially when I feel it’s been uncalled for. But no doubt there are times I’ve deserved dislike, based on what I’ve done or from my own attitudes. I have found when I experience these feelings leveled at me, they pull me up short and cause me to examine my own behavior. Have I done something to offend? Do I need to ask forgiveness and make amends, and if I have experienced prejudice, it is a powerful experience that helps me to seek forgiveness for my own prejudice, to be called up short, and to know how horrible that feels. I love your 2018 word. When we serve, we love people even when they hate us. After all, that’s what Jesus did. We were His enemies, and yet He loved us despite it and saved us, reconciling us to God. Thank you for sharing, and may I wish you a very Happy New Year!

  9. Very interesting column – especially for the comments which followed. Pearl raised the point about keeping healthy boundaries, and Jean brings up my thoughts on that – a boundary is sometimes essential, and not only for keeping oneself physically safe. Some relationships can be soul-destroying.

  10. Thank you, Dawn, for the much needed admonition to love in the face of someone who hates me…If I do not, I become hateful myself; ugly, angry, bitter, etc. And as a Christ follower, I cannot afford to block and wreck His life in me. Besides what is mentioned, I know that forgivness from the heart is SO necessary, and again and again as new hurts occur. Also, following the the commands in Matthew and the parallel section in Luke, plus Romans 12 help me have the Lord’s perspective and heart. 1 John 4:16 is a go to prayer for me…”Fill me with YOUR love, Lord, for ________, which casts out fear!” –for sometimes there is fear, too, as someone hates me. Fear that things will ever be right, fear that it will get worse, that I am not loved or lovable just because that indiv hates me, etc. And THANKING God for that person by name. Sometimes it almost chokes in my throat, but God honors that and gives a sweet peace.

    Dawn, would you mind expounding a bit on this sentence?
    ” Even if the hatred stems from what we represent instead of who we are.”
    I don’t think I understand it, but for some reason, it stuck out to me as something important. Thank you so very much! A much needed piece every day.

  11. Dawn, all I can say is WOW! You have no idea how much I needed to read your post today!! My husband and I are right in the midst of trying to love our daughter-in-law who we feel “hates us”! To keep things short and simple, I took care of our only granddaughter for four years starting at two months of age after her birth mother tried to murder her. She went to prison and is no longer in the picture. I bonded with that child like she was my own and she bonded with us as well. Two years ago, our son married a woman (we feel out of desperation) and they moved 500 miles away. It was traumatizing to say the least and our only daughter died that same year. Our daughter-in-law isn’t a warm and loving woman but claims to be a Christian (my son is also a Christian). I confess we were not thrilled with our son’s marriage and move but accepted it and for the past two years, have shown our new daughter-in-law nothing but kindness and love. She has rejected it all and will say such harsh things but we’ve taken those words with grace and not retaliated. Last July she told us to our faces that she thinks we are “toxic”, she wants nothing to do with us and we are not to greet her, speak to her, send a gift or text, etc. We were shocked and hurt to say the least. Our son hasn’t intervened so we’ve only had casual contact with our son since then. This has torn us up inside so my husband and I have been praying, reading and seeking God’s direction. We felt last week that we need to reach out once more and ask our son and daughter-in-law for THEIR forgiveness for whatever we have said or done to hurt them. We felt God’s leading and it seems that every day we’d see the signs that it was the right thing to do. We spoke to our son who was gracious and kind and wants healing as well. Then he told us we needed to speak to our daughter-in-law. That conversation will happen tonight! However our son told us to prepare ourselves. Now we have anxiety that she will hurl insults and hate towards us again. Our precious little granddaughter who is now 6 is starting to wonder what’s going on. For her sake and as believers, we need desperately to find peace. I’m asking for prayer from all my incourage family. If our apology is not accepted, all we can do is move forward and continue to show kindness whenever we can. It’s so sad and I desperately want healing in our family. Loving those who hate us is very hard and we can’t do it without God. Thank you so much and God bless!

    • Cindy, I pray in Jesus name for healing within your family. I pray healing for your daughter in law’s heart, that whatever hurts she is projecting on to you would be healed within her own heart. I pray you and your husband would have comfort and God’s eyes to see the situation for what it really is – a hurting woman spreading her hurt in the twisted hope of finding healing and love through pushing the hurt away and on to others. I pray for this journey of healing and that God’s supernatural love would be your source!! Amen!!

      • Thank you so much for your prayers, Agnes. We talked with our daughter in law and tried to express as much love and acceptance as we could. We asked her for forgiveness if we have hurt her in any way. She’s clearly struggling with something from her past and doesn’t want to get close. However she is open to giving it time and we pray that God will help heal her wounds and any hostility she feels towards us. With God all things are possible! We’re believing we can all find healing! Thanks again for your wonderful prayer! God bless you!

  12. I’m sorry to say that even believers let hate enter the picture when it comes to differing beliefs, healing, spiritual gifts, the Rapture. I am careful to word things in a way that us the truth but I’ve learned people are at different levels of faith. So many of us are doing our best to use self control, a fruit of the spirit, and be angry and sin not. It’s time all denominations got on board. Jesus minister sinners and religious alike, and was mistreated by both, so we are in good company.

  13. Dawn,

    God tells us to love those who hate us. It is hard for most of us to think anyone would hate us. There has always been hatred in the world. We must pray, work at being kind & loving toward those who hate us. Perhaps they will see our loving kindness & come to Christ. Praying for all to work hard at loving others. My word for 2018 is love. I must not be “snarky” but caring & loving just like Jesus.

    Blessings 🙂

  14. This is a hard one because we wrestle not against flesh and blood so we don’t always discern that sometimes the one appearing as an angel of light, and pretends to be your trustworthy friend, could possibly be a wolf in sheep’s clothing who actually hates our guts. And because he hated Jesus first he will do what he can to destroy us. In our community it was a lay person in the church who randomly raped children each Sunday and set such fear in their hearts so as to not disclose anything. He is dead now, some thirty years later and the many children are grown and even now living the horrors of PTSD, and struggling as they raise their own families. A whole community hit upon yet just one of the many around the world who have experienced the same. The enemy hates our guts but he hated Christ first.
    The kind of love that it takes to love those that hate us like this must indeed be sent from God for in our flesh there lives no such ability without Him who loved us and gave His life for us. He is faithful and one day He will deliver us from all of the evil of this world. He holds each one.

  15. Dawn, would you mind expounding a bit on this sentence?
    ” Even if the hatred stems from what we represent instead of who we are.”
    I don’t think I understand it, but for some reason, it stuck out to me as something important. Thank you so very much! A much needed piece every day.

    • Deeb, I don’t think I can tag both you and Kim, who commented below, in this, so I may post this twice. 🙂

      What I meant was, some people may hate us by what we represent: because we’re Christians, or because of the school choice we make for our children, or because of how we vote (or don’t vote), or because of the color of our skin (this happens no matter what the color) without actually getting to know us and who we are as individuals. We are not defined by our demographics or our choices in one area.

      Thank you for your comment!

      • Thanks much for the clarification, Dawn! And thanks, Kim, that I wasn’t alone, in not getting it! LOL.
        God bless and GOD’s LOVE to you!

  16. Dawn,
    First of all, my word is Love this year. How can I love even if it hurts so horribly. Thank you for your words.
    Second, I am with Deeb, ” Even if the hatred stems from what we represent instead of who we are.” Ih ave an idea of what you meant, but would love to hear this from you.
    Great post and a much needed confirmation.

    • What I meant was, some people may hate us by what we represent: because we’re Christians, or because of the school choice we make for our children, or because of how we vote (or don’t vote), or because of the color of our skin (this happens no matter what the color) without actually getting to know us and who we are as individuals. We are not defined by our demographics or our choices in one area.

      Thanks, Kim!

  17. Thanks much for the clarification, Dawn! And thanks, Kim, that I wasn’t alone, in not getting it! LOL.
    God bless and GOD’s LOVE to you!

  18. What hurts me is the though of one of my brothers or sisters in Christ hating me. That just goes beyond my comprehension. Yet, this is where me and my family find ourselves. Our word for the year (actually two) is Compassion and Forgiveness.

  19. To be the recipient of hate and bitterness is such an awful feeling. I struggle with wanting to avoid the hurt and the hurtful person altogether. Thank you for the reminder to love and pray for those who hate us! This was very timely for me and has encouraged me to set aside my hurt and focus on being a blessing.

  20. What a God moment this is. I just read an email from someone who “hates” me. I don’t know why she hates me, but the feeling is strong. I close that email and then I read yours. WOW! I know I’m called to love this woman, but as you know, it’s very hard. The more I know about her, the more my heart goes out to her. She’s the type of person that always wears a smile, but she will cut you to shreds while she’s smiling. She has to be such an unhappy person.

    I’ve studied the concept of “One Word” for the year. My word is “Genuine”. I want to be genuine in all I say and do–not just put on a facade of good character.