I can be really hard on myself to the point where I just give up. I did this with God one time. I realized that I would never be able to match up with my ideal self — the one I know God wants me to aspire to — because my ideal self is without any weaknesses or sin.
So, back when I was a beginning Christian, I just gave up and walked in the sin I was struggling against. I walked in it for a long time and it made me miserable, but I could see no way out. You can probably imagine the kind of sin a teenager can get into and it lasted well into my twenties. I was totally stumped, and even angry at God. I knew nothing good lived inside of me, that all my thoughts and actions were sinful. I had the desire to think and act as I knew God wanted me to do, but not the ability. (Romans 7:18)
My problem was this: I had heard that Jesus died for me but I had not personalized it. I never thought that the things I did were the ones that put him on the cross. Most of my sins were not that bad so I figured I just had to deal with them on my own. But as I grew in my sin, my sin grew, and what was once a small sin was now really grieving me and controlling my life. I wished more than ever to be rid of it.
I began to miss my savior so much. I missed praying, I missed reading about him, and I missed believing in him. So I returned to my faith with head bowed, knowing I was probably the least likely to be accepted by him. When I returned to him with this attitude, I found that the promise of Christ is that all of our sins are covered by the blood he shed on the cross: big and little. We don’t have to be perfect. We belong to him even in our sinful state.
I will never be sinless on this earth, I will always be struggling against one sin or another, but I don’t have to wait until I am perfect before I can belong to him. My weapon against sin is Christ living in me. I can rest in the promise of Christ on the cross. He will battle the sin that lives in me and free me from its bondage. I need only go to him. He will help me every step of the way. I have even prayed for the desire to be free of a particular sin.
I’m a little smarter now, and free from many of the sins of my youth, Praise God for that. But that devilish desire to be perfect creeps up on me until I once again want to give up and cry, This is too hard! The minute that happens, I know that I have been living under this same lie that leads me away from God. Fortunately for me, I can pick up almost any book in the New Testament and read that Jesus Christ died for me so that I might be free from the power of sin and so live a new life forever. I also have something I ask myself whenever I feel impatient with the sin in my life and what I am doing/feeling/thinking is just too awful and how can I really be a Christian: I say, does Christ need another nail in his hand, another stripe on his back just to cover me completely? Of course not. The sacrifice is sufficient. We can rest on that.