I have been reading a great little leadership book by David Sterns and Bert Jones called Leadership Proverbs – Wisdom for Today’s Leaders.  The book follows the pattern of the biblical book of Proverbs and is a great resource.  Of course, one of the things that makes it so good is that it challenges readers in areas where they need to grow. Chapter 8 verse 3 was one such challenge for me. It reads as follows:

Never allow the probability of an outcome to obscure the possibility of that outcome.  First CONCIEVE, then BELIEVE and you will  likely ACHIEVE.

For many leaders that can be difficult.  We love planning.  We may love to conceptualize.  We may even enjoy initiating.  But far too often we don’t initiate anything we haven’t calculated as having a reasonably high probability of success.  We want all the odds in our favor. The fear of failure or looking like we dont know what we were doing stops us in our tracks.  What a shame.

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t operate with that same mentality? Think for a moment how the Scriptures would read differently if He did.  We would see phrases like this (my own paraphrase).

  • As Moses and the people came to the Red Sea, God told Moses that he had not anticipated the sea being that big and they should all run while they can!
  • David walked out to face Goliath, looked up at him, and realizing he did not have a chance to win, fell on his face and asked for mercy.
  • The disciples brought a boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish to Jesus as 5,000 hungry people sat on the hill.  Jesus looked at them and exclaimed “Just what am I supposed to do with these?”
  • As Father God and his son Jesus discuss a plan for launching a world-wide movement with 12 ordinary and unremarkable men they both realize that it could never work.  

There is a second leadership parable from the book above that is much more in line with how God thinks:  

A good leader doesn’t say “If only,” but “What if?” 9:10

And be certain, that is the spirit in which God created you.  You are the divinely crafted answer to the ‘What if’s?” God has planned for you. You are a probability buster because God Himself designed you that way…  And odds mean nothing to Him.

Don’t let probability obscure possibility as you think of the passions and dreams pulsating in your heart.

Live this week on purpose,
Ron Klopfenstein

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