But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

This is not a sermon from me because I struggle with it too. John Eldredge, the author of many books, writes in “The Utter Relief of Holiness,” that if we are not experiencing the Fruits of the Spirit in our life, we are not living as God intended us to live. The Fruits of the Spirit show us that God is working in us and through us.

I still get very depressed and have to work to get out of depression. I say things I shouldn’t and lose my patience. I am not always gentle in my actions or reactions, and I don’t always feel like being loving, Those are the sad symptoms of the Fall, and we will have to deal with them on occasions. They are warning signs. We are drifting away from God. If we are not experiencing and practicing the Fruits of the Spirit, we are drifting away from God’s desire for our life. We are drifting away from holiness.

Our natural human tendencies are not the Fruit of the Spirit. We are more likely to be selfish, demanding, insecure, outspoken, and the list goes on. What do we do? We can read Galatians 5:22-23 as a reminder of what the Fruits are. We can search our hearts to see why we are feeling depressed, angry, impatient, etc. And ask God about it. Why am I feeling like this? John Eldredge suggests inviting Jesus into the pain and asking Him to heal you at the root of that pain. “Jesus come into my weakness or pain. Heal me.”

Only God can reveal gently and kindly the things in our lives that keep us from being the person we want to be. God’s love and power are transforming. He gives us His Spirit to teach us and transform us.

For more on this topic, check out The Utter Relief of Holiness, by John Eldredge. I love it when people suggest books they have read. It helps me as I look for my next book or five,