Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. … When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
- from Genesis 37:5-11
Joseph had a pair of dreams. In one, his bundle of wheat stood up and his brothers’ bundles of wheat bowed down to it. In the other dream, the sun and moon and stars bowed down to him. He told everyone about these dreams. And everyone understood what he thought those dreams meant: Joseph would be in a place of privilege over the rest of his family.
We don’t typically respond well when someone says that they’re better than us. Heck, we don’t even respond well when we think someone thinks they’re better than us. And we can quickly become defensive when others think we’ve “gotten too big for our britches.”
Now, Joseph’s dreams would – at least in part – come true. But the pathway to their fulfillment would be more windy and painful than his confident boasting led him to expect.
We wonder what would have happened if Joseph had done something healthier with his dreams. Instead of boasting about them, he could have used them to fuel his internal leadership fire and to seek opportunities to grow to be a leader who would be worth following. He could have shared them confessionally or with humility, asking his brothers what they should do together in response to these dreams. He could have done something mature.
Our dreams can reveal our areas of immaturity, as can our way of communicating them.
What dreams has God given you? What are healthy and humble ways you can share those dreams with others?