The Christian life is better lived by God displacing than by our disciplining. The more we know God's love the more that love takes the place of our unloving ways. We live out of the overflow of His kindness towards us. Discipline forces us to use our own strength & own knowledge (which is often wrong) to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to be Christlike. Truth is, the only way to be Christlike is to like Christ. The more time you spend liking Christ the more like Him you'll become. The more time you spend trying to be like Christ the more you'll become like any given person practicing any given religion.
"It is the loving kindness of God towards us that trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. The loving kindness of God towards us makes us eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:12)
Most change is effortless but almost no change is instant. When effort is required we've already been fully equipped by standing on the firm foundation of His love for us. That type of change will be hard but if we are equipped with His love we will not be afraid.
Most change is growth. What do you have to do to grow? Nothing, it is a natural process of life. God is Life. My baby daughter doesn't have to do anything to grow, her mommy & daddy take care of everything she needs to keep her growing. Oh that we would trust God our Daddy to do this for us! Babies & children grow by watching what their mothers & fathers do. How did Jesus live His life? In John 5:19-20 He said, "I only do what I see my Father doing." SURPRISE!
The problem with Christians today is that they've effectively been kidnapped by an orphanage (the institutional church). In that orphanage they are told that their Father will only show up if they are really good all the time & make almost no mistakes. If they do make mistakes they have to send Him apology letters (confess their sins to Him/repent). The orphanage blinds the children to their Father's presence & personality. They are taught that even when He does show up He only comes to "visit" for a little while. Don't believe me? Then ask yourself when the last time you've heard yourself or someone you know pray "God be with us.."