Shannon Bream: FOX News @ Night, Faith and Remaining Authentic

 Interviewed for Risen Magazine

Risen Magazine: For all Christians, there’s a time where your faith might be identified with your family or with an upbringing, or, “I live in America. I’m a Christian,” but then there comes a point where it’s a little bit deeper, and you make a choice whether this is something that you want with you. Share a little bit about what faith looked like to you growing up and what it looks like today?

Shannon Bream: I went through, as many kids do in this country, my parents were divorced when I was very young and for a long time, it was my mom and I. She was a young single mom, and we spent a lot of time at church. Her faith was really growing and rooting during that time. She got a job at a Christian school as a teacher also, so I felt like I was surrounded by faith and such a great community of people who are more than just teachers or co-employees with my mom or a boss. I mean, these were people who knew about our lives, knew when we were struggling, when our car broke down for the 50th time, when we needed meals and help. I mean, the church was really a family to us growing up.

But as much as I was saturated with the Bible and studying it, it really wasn’t until middle school where I started to think, “This has to be personal for me.” I have to say, “I want a relationship with Christ. I accept what He did for me on the Cross. I believe He’s my Savior, and He has paid the internal price for me.” And we’ve just had the season of Easter and celebrating that most hopeful thing. So for me, it became personal from that point on. And I’m just so grateful for the roots that were planted along the way because of my family and because of these other people in our church community who came around me.

And so now, I always say I’m a work in progress. I try to start every day in the word in prayer. For me, journaling helps as well, just pouring out my requests, seeing what God has for me in the day, and praying your will, not mine and praying for the grace and the courage to mean that. So I get off track. I sin. I need forgiveness every day, but I’m striving and praying and hoping to need less of it and looking to see where God is working in lives around me, where He’s calling me to help others around me and to get my own act together. I think if we want to be light and witnessed and be serving to other people, we have to be honest with ourselves, with our own flaws and our own sin and be actively working on being closer to God and having less of that in our life and more of Him.

RM: We talk a lot about representation matters and seeing people like you reflected within film or within media. And so I think it’s amazing that you are a Christian and outspoken about it, and we can see that reflected through you, although I’m sure there’s been many times where your integrity has been tested and your faith has kind of come under trial. For you, what does that look like, and how do you kind of maintain that authenticity within especially news?

SB: Well, to me, it’s a great comfort and really, like so many people over the last year, I was very rattled. I mean, every day we knew the headlines were going to be worse. In the beginning, you’d wake up, and you’d see a new infection rate, a new death toll. The markets were very unstable and crashing, and people’s 401(k)s were in danger. They’re terrified and worried about their kids, their parents. I mean, there was so much to worry about, and it was really a wake-up call for me to think, “Gosh, some of the things that make my life so comfortable are really of the world,” and they’re very… they can be of shifting sand, and I’ve not intentionally chosen them, but they have become such a part of my life that I look more to them for comfort than maybe I do for God’s word or my time in prayer.

And it was a huge reset for me. I’ve always tried to do daily study, but it became, for me, before I even look at the phone and all of the bad news and all of the demands and emails and the phone calls, the voicemails, I have to just go sit with the Lord for a little while and get sort of my armor on, get my roots deep in, get ready for the day ahead. And that makes it a joy to do my job and to go then tackle whatever has turned up overnight. But I really found that I needed to be more serious about that daily time and about where I laid up treasures in my heart. I mean, am I only accumulating things here on the earth that make my life easy and make it happy, or am I really focused on eternity and what is going to matter in that context?

So a good reset for me there, but my faith does, I feel like, help me through each day. I can never shy away from sharing it because I’m trying to always make sure it’s central to my life. And I found that I’ve heard from a lot of people over the last year when I would post verses or excerpts from a devotion or somebody that I really admire saying, “I needed this today, and thank you for sharing your faith. It makes me feel more comfortable about sharing my faith.” And I think if we do it in the way that Christ did where… listen, He didn’t condemn people, and that’s in this book too. I mean, He went to the woman caught in adultery. He went to the Samaritan woman at the well who was a total outcast, and He was kind to them. He didn’t yell and berate them about their sin. He had conversations with them and said, “Go in sin no more, but I don’t condemn you.” He used the word daughter to speak with women in the Bible and had great affection and reverence and respect for them. And I think if we can approach conversations about faith with people the same way, that’s how you really make an impact and make things better for other people.

RM: Your show, Fox News @ Night, just shifted time slots so now we can watch you on the West Coast at 9:00 PM. What excites you most about this change?

SB: You know what? We’re having a lot of fun. We’ve always been the last live program of the night because we do news, and the news cycle has turned 24/7 over the last couple of decades, we know, so there’s always news breaking. So we always have something to cap off the night and make sure that you know in the day ahead, what’s coming as well, but we’re having a little bit more fun.

I think at that hour, too, we maybe feature stories and quirky videos and things that maybe people consider part of a serious news show, but we find there’s a place for them. I think at that time of night, whether it’s midnight here on the East Coast or 9:00 for you guys out on the West Coast, we just want to have things that are interesting and catch your eye, stories you may not have heard other places. We always try to include good news to wrap up the show too because there is good news out there, and it doesn’t always get the headlines, but we want people to see where neighbors are helping each other, where kids are raising money for each other or to donate to hospitals or nurses. I mean, there’s really a lot of good news, so we try to make time for that too.

Shannon Bream’s new book The Women of the Bible Speak is available now.

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