Making Others Listen

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” Genesis 37:9-10

When Joseph shared his first dream with his brothers, it didn’t go well. They despised him for it.  So why in the world would he go ahead and tell them his second dream? Perhaps, in his enthusiasm, he just couldn’t help himself. Maybe his strong desire for their respect drove him to it.  He was young after all and obviously impetuous. He wanted their love, the same kind that his father felt for him.

I can be so much like Joseph and make the same mistake.  When I’m excited about something, I want to tell someone. I hope others close to me will share my joy but when I open up indiscriminately, rejection is often the outcome.  Chances are, this has played out poorly before.  It’s a family pattern.  So, why do I put myself through this over and over again?  Maybe my need for approval is so strong that discretion goes out the door. Or, I suffer from magical thinking. “This time will be different.  I know they’ll listen!”

Sharing my passion with the same group of unreceptive people, believing they’ll eventually get it, is unwise. While I’m talking, they may be rolling their eyes. That never feels good.  For whatever reasons, they are simply closed-minded and it would be wise for me to acknowledge that.  I need divine restraint.  I need to stop talking out of personal need rather than holy mission.

A season of quietness and prayerfulness is needed. God needs to heal the rejection my soul suffers. He also needs to show me if my words are framed by a need to be right. When I’ve been mis-judged, I just want to fix it. I want to be vindicated but maybe their own brokenness will prevent them from ever really hearing me.

So, what do I do with my need to be liked, respected, validated and accepted? I take my needs to the One who makes me whole in His presence.

Healer of my soul, mend the ragged edges of my soul. Amen

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