5 Ways to Live by Faith: An Exploration of Insecurity

by Mark Votava


It would be so nice not to have broken relationships, separation from one another, isolation and loneliness in our world.  But this is clearly not the case as we have trouble finding a way of reconciliation with one another leading to hostility, hatred, judgmental attitudes, exclusion and oppression and abuse.  Nobody wants this, but often times this is our chaos.

I find myself trying to run from the emotional pain of my dreams dying within me.  It seems I have lived as a blind man because I cannot seem to be open to an awareness of God’s presence in everyday life quietly working through my relational context in small, ordinary ways.  Frustration has overtaken me as I give up hope in the power and beauty of love.  Why is it so difficult to see the sacredness of all of life?

I can’t seem to understand this as I live with an unconscious PHD in dualistic thinking.  My vulnerability, insecurity and pain leave me feeling like shit.  I have a hard time loving myself or anyone else for that matter.  But today I can take a small step toward reconciliation with others, forgiveness, humility, gratitude and compassion.

My life is sacred, so is yours.  I am coming to see that the struggle is a part of my growth.  I want to understand myself as I long to know what it means to be authentically human?

“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’…” (Romans 1:17). 

Here are 5 things we can do move toward living by faith amidst all the chaos.

1. Be reconcilers of relationships

The righteous, those who live in reconciled relationship with others, will live by faith as the body of Christ in everyday life in the parish.  This is truly what social justice means.  Righteousness and justice starts within us through the mystical imagination.  We are all called to live by faith in our local community with others.  We cannot ignore this.

2. Be courageous and creative

Faith doesn’t always make sense to our bodies while we live in a rationalistic and pragmatic mode.  If we let the intuitive mystical imagination live within us, we will have greater clarity and intentionality as the body of Christ in the place we live.  Living by faith often times requires risk, courage and creativity which leads to us our freedom.  The mystical imagination brings us freedom within.

Richard Rohr states, “God is clearly into freedom, imagination, and creativity.” 

3. Don’t allow the ego to take over

Living by faith will bring us freedom from the systems of the empire, but we will also experience an insecurity because our ego will be bothered by this freedom.  Our ego wants to be secure through what is rational, concrete and safe.  Our ego wants to be in control to manipulate our environment.  Living by faith will not allow the ego to do this.

 4. Be open to mystery

The ego wants us to live more like robots and machines than as human beings.  The ego ignores all the mystery to our human potential.  The ego has virtually no imagination for life beyond the status quo.

5. Be open to be insecure, uncomfortable and shaken from the status quo

Living by faith calls us away from the ego and into a relational context as the body of Christ in the parish.  Living by faith makes us insecure, but this is our greatest freedom.  It is good to be insecure, uncomfortable and shaken from the status quo and live into a mystical imagination for something more.

Subversive French writer Jacques Ellul says, “What people want when they talk about freedom is not being subject to others, being able to have their own dreams or go where they want to go.  Hardly more.  They definitely do not want to have to take charge of their own lives and be responsible for what they do.  This means that they do not really want freedom…  In effect freedom can give us everything except security by demanding that we be.  Security is always inevitably bought at the cost of freedom…” 

How can we learn to live by faith in our culture?