Today’s reading is drawn from John 2:12-22.
It’s been said that failure is the back door to success. It is, and so is risk. Indeed, Henry Lee (Hank) Allen in the book Men to Men observes that “Many of the most successful people or organizations either failed many times, took several risks, or both—before they achieved.”
Allen defines risk as “having the faith to attempt something new or different even though it might be hard or lead to failure.” He maintains that “risk is not recklessness; recklessness involves little or no forethought … In contrast, those who take risks are aware that they face enormous obstacles to achievement; yet, the rewards seem well worth the effort.”*
Strong leaders boldly take calculated risks. They must do so in order to advance their cause. That’s what Jesus did when he cleared the temple in Jerusalem. When he drove out the money changers and overturned their tables, Jesus ran the risk of enraging those ancient con-artists. He risked antagonizing the religious leaders and being misunderstood by the masses. But Jesus had to take that risk; he couldn’t sit idly by as these corrupt vendors made a mockery of his Father’s house. As the Messiah, he deeply felt his “zeal” for the house of God (v. 17). He had to express that zeal regardless of the risk.
As you cultivate your leadership skills, don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk. And don’t fear failure. Both are back doors to success.
*June and Parker, eds., Men to Men, 33