Discussion on MennoDiscuss: What do you think evangelicals mean by the sin of "trying to live the Christian life on one's own strength."
I think what evangelicals mean by this second esoteric phrase is trying to live the Christian life without the Spirit is wrong. The fact of the matter is that it isn't so much wrong as impossible. If a person tried to love their enemies, sell their possessions and give to the poor, do religious acts only for God's reward not man's, etc, it's just not human. So we have to have God's strength to help us do as Jesus asks.
The problem comes in when they say that we are doing something wrong by doing what we can. Look, if I can, on my own, not say hateful things about my brother or sister, then why shouldn't I? Is that a sin? We should admit that we can't do it on our own, that we need God's help, but to not do what we can... of course we should.