Why Leaders Need Desperation

We often look to wisdom from the most famous people in Scripture. People like Moses, David, Joseph, Esther, Peter and Paul offer great insights on life and leadership.

While these leaders are certainly worth studying, I’d like to also challenge you to consider some priceless wisdom from nameless people. A group of these “nameless” people are found in the Gospel of Mark, and they teach us a powerful leadership lesson on desperation.

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.” (Mark 2:1-5 MSG)

We don’t know the names of these four men, but from their lives we learn three priceless lessons. These lessons on desperation provide hope for the leadership journey.

1. Desperation is awakened when hurt meets hope. 

The crippled man in this story had four friends, some very good friends I might add, who believed it didn’t have to be this way.

Leadership is similar. Most of us can see a situation that doesn’t have to stay the same.

In the instance of the paraplegic, we don’t know what compelled his friends to get him to Jesus. Maybe they were all best friends. Perhaps one of the friends caused an accident that left the man crippled. The guilt would have certainly ravaged their minds and made them desperate to help.

What we do know is that their friend was hurt. And when they heard about a man who could heal the sick, desperation abruptly awoke. Therein lies our first lesson: Desperation is awakened when hurt meets hope.

Perhaps you know the feeling. Maybe your leadership feels crippled by pressure and circumstances. Maybe your finances are in trouble. Perhaps the relationships on your team are disintegrating.

Here’s what I want you to know: In the middle of your hurt, there is hope. And when you get a glimpse of that hope, desperation (in a good way) will come alive within you. 

And why is that important? That brings us to our second lesson.