I've become convinced that there are only two primary fuels for the human soul:
Fear. And Love.
I visited a church a few weeks back. Great people, kind and clearly passionate about their faith. But after some sweet conversation in the lobby and some deeply resonate worship (love, love, love!), the experience took what was for me a drastic turn. The speaker's message was turbocharged by fear...be afraid of this, be terrified of that, and if you're not petrified by that other thing, then you're just not paying attention. You're much closer to danger than you think, dangling by a thread over a gaping chasm of destruction that only the most intense fervent pleading can save you from. And the crowd totally bought in, or most of them anyway. Tears, desperate prayers. This wasn't about true contrition or repentance (metanoia--beautiful word!). This was about playing the victim role and masquerading it as faith...fueled by fear of life, of Satan, of your own darker urges. The underlying message seemed to be that the holier you are, the more fear-driven you'll be.
Is life supposed to be more about running to, or running from?
I vote "A". For some people, life is mostly about avoiding what you fear. For others, it's mostly about moving toward what you love. We're all afraid of stuff, of course. But feeling afraid and letting that fear be the fuel of your life are two very different things.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)
Believe it or not, this is actually a post about leadership. Because whatever fuels your life, fuels your leadership. If you live from fear, then your leadership quickly becomes all about raising alarms, rallying the troops to the latest new danger that must be avoided, playing the victim, the one under siege. It's all reactive; all moving away from things.
But if you live from love, then your leadership becomes about the highest dream, the compelling vision of that thing you and your people long for most, the deeper YES! You forge a community, not of victims, but of free men and women (Galatians 5:1) who have love and have choice, and know how to use them.