Practicing andPreaching and Fear

“If mainstream Christianity has steadily lost force and credibility, I wonder how much might be attributed to that we preach one gospel and live another. We preach the Good Samaritan and lock our church doors. We preach the lilies of the field and allocate large amounts of our monthly paychecks to pension and insurance plans.” —Cynthia Bourgeault in Mystical Hope (Cowley, 2001).


This is the old story of practicing what we preach. We talk one way, but act another. My experience is that much of what we do is unconscious. We see ourselves as good and caring people. We know a certain belief is part of our core values; but our society speaks against it or does not value it. This gives us excuses or wiggle room so that we don’t have to follow through.

My experience is that fear and the scarcity/zero-sum mentality most often keep us from being this person God created us to be, not being able to act on what we know at our core is true. We fear we will not have enough money. We worry that someone will break in and steal what we already have. We fear our health will fail. We experience anxiety over the thought of being left alone and abandoned.

Being grateful, expressing thanks for what we have, is one of the best ways to journey out of a fear-based life. We have been given a daily reminder of how much we are cared for and loved. When I am most fearful, I rise early in the morning and watch the sunrise. Out of deep darkness comes overwhelming light. We are given a new hope, a new start, each day. Out of our darkness comes resurrection.