One of the greatest discouragements in living out our faith can be unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations about how Christianity will radically change our lives and how far we will get in sanctification.
Often the reality is that spiritually new Christians quickly find just how bad their life is. It is easy to judge our living as good or okay when we compare ourselves to the world.
Once we see the reality of the world as God sees it life is radically different. I often find Christians who seem to have no sense of sin troubling.
They may be truly sincere believers who fail to understand scripture. But without a sense of personal sin they truly lack a grasp of scripture.
It can be a failure of many churches to push those who seem spiritually "perfect" into leadership. Of course those people only seem perfect because when you speak with them they are oblivious to all the areas in which they sin and need to grow.
We all fail and all are in need of grace and growth. The awareness of sin and desire to improve is a gift from God. We cannot grow if we do not accept that we are in need of grace and that we have much need of growth.
God asks more of us than we can ever do. But he provides salvation not based on our limited efforts but freely based on the perfect life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to all who believe.