Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 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. Genesis 37:9-11
Maybe it was youthful arrogance that made Joseph share his dreams with his family. Or maybe it was just youthful ignorance of how it would be received by them. Either way, it was not a problem with telling the truth; rather, it was just an ill-conceived manner of handling the truth. In a word, it was immaturity.
Just a couple of chapters later, after some hard life experiences and some growing up, we see Joseph making much wiser decisions. Life has a way of doing that to all of us. When I think back to the naive and arrogant young leader I was 20-30 years ago ,well, it is a bit embarrassing. Maturity, alas, cannot be learned from books or from classrooms. Moreover, it almost always requires a generous measure of time and experience.
It is worth noting that Joseph was actually wise beyond his years. By most standards, he is the model character in God’s story. He is, from the beginning, a young man of integrity and high character. His gift of interpreting dreams elevated him to leadership heights at a reasonably young age. But his youthful faux pas were glaring and ended up costing him years of heartache and hard knocks. In short, for leaders among …