What can I say, it is something that we all have a weakness towards. Doing Christianity, rather than just being a Christian. Sometimes we get it...what it is all about. Relationship with our God and out of that, our cup being filled to overflowing, we naturally live out what is inside. But then, being human we continue the same actions but start slacking off on the relationship side. Soon we find ourselves struggling to have the right attitudes and controlling things to help guide our actions. We set up rules and guidelines for ourselves to achive what it is that we know how we should be. We either fail and beat ourselves up feeling guilty for our lack of self discipline...aiming to try harder or give up. OR even worse we achieve our goals and have a self righteous attitude within ourselves(pride). What we never stop to think is that the Lord hasn't transformed us...WE did(or tried). If we are the ones that do the transforming it is only surface based and temporary, only to be revealed that we are not so transformed at the time of testing. The real us rears it's ugly head usually to our surprise...or worse, we think it is normal. Snapping at people, getting frustrated when things don't go our way, impatient, domineering....all are opposite of what the "fruit of the Spirit" is in Col. 2:13.
What really throws us is scriptures like "in my weekness, He is strong"(Rom...) and hopefully when the Lovng God brings us gently to a state of brokeness, we respond by abondoning our pride in our abilities to do Christianity and recognize that it is actually a weakness. We need to reapproach the cross and ask for forgiveness. Restarting the relationship with Him and re-establing our dependency on Him. It then becomes such a refreshing feeling as burdens are lifted and we feel truly free again.
The discouraging thing is after time we start the cycle again. The Lord will always meet us where ever we are at. At any part of the process we can repent and come back to the life that Jesus said "My yoke is easy and my burden is light". Matt 11:30