One problem, as I’ve heard it put, is that law is our native language. We speak law fluently. There exists a native tendency toward self-righteousness, toward punitive justice, toward dead external works. Though the law should condemn us–and condemn us good!–we unwittingly believe ourselves able to rise up to the demands of the law. Of course, we would never say such a thing. We just live that way. We would never resort to the law for justification–we’re not legalists, after all. But, we do imagine perfection a genuine possibility. We make it a goal to “always strive for perfection.” What is that, but the law pronounced with more syllables? Surely the older we get the less confident we ought to be of ever attaining perfection. But we remain confident and committed to the goal of perfection because grace is not our native language; law is.