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 NIV)
I wonder how many self-help books have been written about character development. Books that teach us to be loving, joyful, and at peace with ourselves. While certainly not everyone in the world sees these attributes as desirable, most people seem to. Or at least they want to see them in the people they are surrounded by. I suppose that some of these self-help books can give helpful advice. But anytime we focus on our own efforts to develop into loving, joyful, peaceful people, we produce something that is only an imitation of the real thing.
The only sure way to succeed is to walk with the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 18). When I walk with him, allowing him to work on my life, the results of his efforts, the fruit of the Spirit, will be obvious: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They will not come into full bloom instantly. But as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, these virtues will grow and mature. The Holy Spirit within will be reflected through me for all to see.