Paul wrote, 'For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.' (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
God isn't interested in [our] self-improvement regimens. He isn't impressed by our resolutions to do better, to get those devotions in, pass out tracts, cut down on our online time by fifteen minutes every day, or fast from the shopping channels during Lent. In fact, he isn't impressed with us at all. He's impressed by his Son. He's impressed with the perfect life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Christ, his beloved Son.
Here's the crux of the matter: you shouldn't hope to be impressed with yourself. Dead people don't worry about impressing others. They don't worry about anything. We need death and resurrection. We should be utterly and entirely impressed with only this: Christ died and was raised. His love was so powerful that he bent under the cruel tree, rested himself upon it, submitted to the hammer and spikes, swallowed his Father's bitter wrath, relinquished his life, and then by the power of the Spirit was raised again. All this for us! Now there's something to be impressed with!...We will not be able to fight victoriously against our sins unless we fight under the banner of the gospel and thereby detach ourselves from our hedonistic plans for self-improvement.
- Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross, pp. 120-1221.