The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. —Galatians 5:22–23
At first glance, it might seem like Galatians 5 gives a list of behaviors to avoid as well as those that should be evident in our lives. However, this passage isn’t a to-do list. It’s really more a list of symptoms to help us see whether we’re healthy rather than what to do to become healthy.
Yet we want a to-do list! We want the programs, the five steps to freedom, the ABCs to change. That’s how the world tells us change is found. If you have a problem in your life, you pick a solution and then work really hard to make that change in your life. The message? Change is possible with the right plan and the right amount of effort from you.
But that’s not the gospel. The good news of self-help says, “There’s a plan.” It gives you things to do. The good news of the gospel says, “There’s a Person, and His name is Jesus!” That’s the only path to find lasting transformation for our lives.
Make it Personal
In what areas of life have you been following the message of self-help rather than the gospel?