Meditations by John Dean

Monday, September 22, 2014


(Job 9:20-22 ASV) Though I be righteous, mine own mouth shall condemn me…

Self-condemnation has got to be one of the saddest things there is. It can range from very mild cases to very severe cases. Over the years I have ministered to many folks who simply did not like themselves nor could see any good reason why others should like them. They were pleased when others did like them even though there always seemed to be the lingering question…why? These folks do not typically consider themselves to be very smart or desirable. As a matter of fact, they usually find their pleasure in building up others while diminishing themselves.

Such thinking usually starts at an early age particularly when one is told, “You will never amount to anything.” or, “You are no good”.

Some kids even lose their confidence because of being bullied in school by other kids or belittled by a teacher. As a result of this kind of treatment rejection often sets in and low self-esteem is established. Many grow out of such rejection and become stronger as a result of it, while others become more fragile and unable to deal with the conflicts of life unless they win.

I have noticed over the years that a fragile person will often fly off the handle and abuse (either mentally or physically) their own children. This often happens because a fragile person seems to have a built-in need to fight back because of their own wounds.

When they were little they could not fight back, but now that they are older and bigger they are able to defend themselves. The problem is…when a person is big on the outside, but controlled by an emotional inner child then the result is often emotional recklessness.

The result of self-condemnation usually manifests in one of two ways. That person can either be quick on the trigger or they simply become numb to pain.

I have never told this story before and I only tell it now in hopes that it might help someone else. My own mother lived under self-condemnation all her life because as a child she was so abused by her stepmother. In her case the abuse did not result in being quick on the trigger, but by becoming numb to pain.

Mother was born in 1913 to a very loving mother and father. However, her mother died when she was about three or four years old. My grandfather remarried in order to have someone to take care of my mother and her little brother. The woman my grandfather married was a very mean woman who did not like children and therefore continually abused my mother.

The swing of going from a very loving mother to an abusive stepmother in just a short time set the stage for mother’s lifelong “low self-esteem.”

She married my father when she was only fifteen years old and started having babies. When I was three years old my father died and when my mother remarried it was to a drunken-wife-beating man. As a result she walked around with bruises and black eyes much of my young life.

I never heard my mother raise her voice or use a bad word or even do anything wrong. My little five foot two inch mother was trained well by her stepmother to take whatever life dished out and gracefully move on as she did her whole life.

Mother was a woman of faith and gracious enough to not seek sympathy by talking about her past. Her vision was looking forward not backward.

I was driving in Colorado on my way to minister when the Lord spoke to me and said, “Your mother just died.” I immediately turned to my wife who was sitting next to me and said, “The Lord just told me that mother has died.” Sure enough she was found dead in her chair all alone.

Even though mother walked with God she stilled believed the lie her stepmother told her, “You are nothing.”

The purpose of this Meditation is to encourage those under the curse of self-condemnation to start rejecting it by making better confessions and stop looking back at the past. The Bible says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God”…believe it.

Help us not to damage our own children by angrily[WDH1]  saying things that will damage their spirit for life as my mother’s stepmother did to her. Lord You are well able to heal and restore every weak and little one.

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