To come out from the world is not an easy thing. It cannot be easy so long as human nature is what it is, and a busy devil is always near us. It requires a constant struggle and exertion; it entails incessant conflict and self-denial; it often places us in exact opposition to members of our own families, friends and neighbors; it sometimes obliges us to do things which give great offence, and bring on us ridicule and petty persecution. It is precisely this which makes many hang back and shrink from decided religion. They know they are not right; they know that they are not so “thorough” in Christ’s service as they ought to be, and they feel uncomfortable and ill at ease. But the fear of man keeps them back. And so they linger on through life with aching, dissatisfied hearts, – with too much religion to be happy in the world, and too much of the world to be happy in their religion. If the truth were known, I fear this is a very common case.
J. C. Ryle (1816 – 1900)