Marilynne Robinson: Christianity is profoundly counterintuitive—“Love thy neighbor as thyself”—which I think properly understood means your neighbor is as worthy of love as you are, not that you’re actually going to be capable of this sort of superhuman feat. But you’re supposed to run against the grain. It’s supposed to be difficult. It’s supposed to be a challenge.The President: Well, that’s one of the things I love about your characters in your novels, it’s not as if it’s easy for them to be good Christians, right?Robinson: Right.The President: It’s hard. And it’s supposed to be hard.
Source: President Obama & Marilynne Robinson: A Conversation in Iowa by Barack Obama and Marilynne Robinson | The New York Review of Books