We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity—like perfect charity—will not be attained by any merely human effort. You must ask for God’s help. Even when you have done so it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal ting is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 94.
Paul warns Timothy, that a minister may not be a young scholar, ‘lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6), indicating that it is the special danger of ministers to have high opinions of themselves because of the high dignity of their service. To prevent this, God in his mercy has planned that all true ministers will by some means or other be humbled and emptied themselves. They will be driven to such fear and amazement at the sight of their own wickedness, that they will throw themselves down at Christ’s feet, and deny themselves wholly, acknowledging that anything they are, they are only in him, and rely and trust only on his grace and help.
William Perkins, The Art of Prophesying.