He had just emerged from existence under a regime that took a dim, even intolerant, view of Christianity. But now, viewing Christians who lived not only in freedom but in relative comfort, this man was appalled. To him, these Christians seemed casual about their commitment, preoccupied with position and possessions, contaminated by the world. And he said so.
A few months later, he went back to visit the friend to whom he had spoken so bluntly when he first arrived.
He asked if his friend remembered what he had said, the bitterness of his criticism. The friend remembered.
The man stood silent for a few moments, reflecting. The friend tensed for a second attack.
“I have come to apologize both for what I said and the way in which I said it,” he said simply. “I was merely afraid. I did not know how dangerous freedom could be. It has been a year now. And I am worse than those I criticized.”
Then he added a significant statement: “It is more difficult to live the Christian life under freedom than under repression.”
Taken by permission and adapted from “Legacy of a Pack Rat,” By Ruth Bell Graham. ©1989 The Ruth Bell Graham Literary Trust.