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
Joseph shared his first dream with his brothers and it didn’t go well. They despised him for it. So why would he tell the second dream to the same unreceptive audience? Perhaps he hoped that, with a second hearing, they would believe the message.
When I’m excited about something, the need to tell someone is strong. I want others to share the wonder with me. But I can share things indiscriminately and experience the same kind of reaction Joseph got from his brothers. My need for approval can be so strong that discretion goes out the door.
Becoming a person of self-awareness is critical if I’m going to be successful in relationships. Do others receive my words and stories eagerly? Is my point of view welcomed? What is the track record with the people who are most resistant to me? If Joseph had really stopped to think about what happened when he related his first dream, perhaps he would have stopped himself before sharing the second. I can be so much like Joseph. If I know something, I just have to say it.
There are some things I believe passionately, and I’m tempted to keep talking about them to the same group of people. Truth be told, they may be rolling their eyes when I open the topic for the umpteenth time. They are already closed and it would be wise for me to acknowledge that. God needs to heal any rejection my soul suffers and also needs to show me if my words are framed by a need to be right. That alone repels people. What I speak may be true, but no one will hear it if it comes with disrespect.
No mission is more important than being God’s spokesman but getting the message right is only half the challenge though. Getting the timing and attitude right will cause the words to roll off my tongue the way Jesus would speak. So, what do I do with my need to be liked, respected, validated and accepted? Prior to any speeches, I take my needs to the One who makes me whole in His presence.
Give me holy pause until it’s time for me to speak. Amen