Part of what it means to be a Christian is to be filled with a desire to please God. He is our Father, and we want to live in his pleasure. But what pleases God? Is it seeing us better ourselves, watching us pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and really make something of our lives? No, the Apostle Paul tells us that it is impossible to please God with such labor in our own strength. God is holy, and the only thing that pleases him is perfection. He will not settle for anything less for us. So it is that self-improvement winds up being a dead end. To please God, we need something beyond ourselves. We need a whole new way of being. And he has given that to us in the Spirit of Christ.