What difficulty is there in being a Christian? Many Christians today would argue that the persecution and opposition caused by public confession of the Christian faith is arguably the greatest difficulty of being a Christian.
Many Christians would perhaps refer to the discredit and isolation they experienced when they took a stand in discussions about issues of the day, such as the recent topic of the anti-abortion campaign in the Athens Metro.
However, while it is true that the issue of the anti-abortion campaign has caused undue tension, I would like to suggest that ultimately the greatest difficulty in our Christian life is not related to the opposition and persecution that is created externally.
Unfortunately, it is related to the aversion and opposition to the Christian message that is created internally, that is, in the depth of human existence and primarily in the hearts of people who officially profess to accept and respect the Gospel and then in the hearts of people who do not embrace Christianity message.
If we are honest, we have to admit that the greatest difficulty is, firstly, for the Christian to bear his/her own Gospel.1. Difficulty is for the Christian to have the commandment of love, as a crown on his/her head even towards his/her enemies, even though it may sound unreal in nowadays society.
The Apostle Paul wrote an entire letter (1 Corinthians) to point out, to the faithful Christians of his time, the difficulty of accepting the message of Christian love. His intention may surprise us, since we as modern readers know that this particular letter includes one of the most famous passages of the Holy Bible that praises Christian Love (Chapter 13).
However, if we could visit the Church of Corinth at the time of the first reading of the letter, we would notice the difficulty of the audience to accept the content of the letter and especially the 13th chapter. From the very first verses of the passage of the 13th chapter, which is also known as the hymn of Love, the Apostle Paul clashes with the Christian life that is based on boasts of abilities, gifts, faith, miracles, moral excellence BUT is not distinguished by the characteristic of Christian Love.
- If I can speak all the languages of men, even of angels, but have no love for others, my words sound like the sound of a brass bell or the sound of a cymbal.
- And if I have the gift of prophecy and have all the mysteries and all knowledge, and if I still have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
- And if I still distribute all my possessions to the poor, and if I give my body over to the fire to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.