Waking up trying to abstain from the flesh is still a life lived focused on the flesh. We are to live a life focused on the spirit. Trying to get people (or even worse, forcing people) to focus on their sin, to get free of it, is as much death as the sin itself. It is a losing battle. The Church has damaged so many people by doing this.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is what got us all in trouble in the first place. Forcing the law on people (do this, don't do that) is feeding people from this tree. It is the Tree of Life we are all in need of and need to help people understand. One brings life. One will always produces death. Maybe this is a big reason the Church is in so much trouble?
Why do we believe more in our ability to manage sin in ourselves and others, more than we believe in the grace of God as demonstrated through the life of Christ to really transform us? I think many are afraid of grace and don't think it will change people. They think people will trample it under foot and take advantage of it. Guess what, many will and do. I think we are all guilty of it sometimes. Come on, let's be real. But it doesn't change the fact that this is what Jesus offers us that changes us. We shouldn't with hold it just because some will take advantage of it. The grace and mercy demonstrated through the cross is still the power unto salvation.
It seems many believe in the power of shame and guilt to transform more so than they believe in grace. Shame and guilt are actually killers. Exploiting people's shame and guilt causes them to hide. The message of the cross is this, someone took this from us. HE TOOK IT FROM US.
I wonder, what would happen if everyone who professed they believed the gospel, actually lived trying to take people's shame and guilt off of them as Jesus did, so they could understand God loves them just as they are?
We might just see a wonderously free Body of Christ?
God loves us out of our alternate stories (lives) that we are living. He does that, because that way of living is killing the objects of his affection(us).