What are some of the reasons we suffer for following Christ?
I suffer for following Christ b/c I choose chastity. I suffer for following Christ b/c I choose a clear mind. I suffer for following Christ b/c I choose to occupy my time with other things instead of being consumed with the search for the perfect mate or the best things in life. These may not seem monumental, but sometimes they truly seem like suffering to me. Chastity is practically an archaic concept anymore... And who doesn't want to relax with friends & forget about the pressures of life? Who isn't consumed with the drive for a mate or really cool toys? These are things the world deems normal. If you're chaste, dry or otherwise occupied, something's gotta be wrong with you... but as a Christian, its part of the suffering. Its part of my suffering anyway. And I guess it seems petty & selfish to think that actually qualifies as suffering, when you compare it to the people being tortured & killed for their faith. But this is what I have to work with... for now.
So, practically speaking, I got to thinking what other ways a Christian might suffer... For holding back in wisdom, for extending a hand in kindness, for handing over what we have, for addressing God with respect, for being faithful, for the things we don't say, for speaking of our lack of faith in this world, for depending on Christ & relinquishing our lives to Him... How do we suffer for following Christ in this world of ours? I've been called names, had my pride hurt; some have even gotten mad at me... And while it may not qualify as hard core suffering, again, its what I have to work with... for now.