“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25
“The fruit of the Spirit wasn’t intended to be a list of goals for us to produce – it is the Holy Spirit through us who produces fruit.” – Dan Kimball
Dear Mama, I am a classic overachiever. I run myself down trying to do everything, be everything, and not let anyone down. The more I strive to be good enough, the more I wrestle with condemning thoughts. I measure myself based on unreachable standards, ones that I would never hold anyone else to!
I went through a particularly hard season of self-condemnation a few years ago. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t be “good enough”, why I always did what I didn’t want to do. (Read Romans 7 and 8 if this sounds familiar to you!)
I often turn to the Bible’s “freedom book”, Galatians, when I start feeling this kind of oppression. One morning, as I read Galatians 5:22-23 about the fruit of the Spirit, I felt like a lightning bolt struck my spirit! I experienced the deep love of Christ when I realized self-control is a fruit of the spirit, not about my will power. It’s not about how good I am.
Dear friend, I don’t know if you battle with self-control like I do, but I know there are many attributes to God’s Spirit that do not come naturally to us without Him! That is what is so freeing about God’s love in our lives! It’s not up to us! God sent His only Son to die our sin and shortcomings so that we could be reconciled to Him and have access to His Spirit in our daily lives.
You were meant to live your life with God, Mama. It doesn’t mean you were made to live a perfect life or have the perfect circumstances. Don’t believe the lie that your life has to look a certain way to hold immense value, and don’t let bitterness take root when hardship comes your way.
The greatest and most freeing way to live is in step with God’s Spirit. You don’t have what it takes without Christ to love your husband or raise your children with the purest form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. What a relief to know that God doesn’t expect you to – or want you to. He wants to walk with you through your highs and lows. He wants to help you.
God’s love can be found wherever you go and in whatever you do. It is thrilling to think that while we go to and from work, homeschool our children, fold piles of laundry or do countless unseen tasks, we can live supernatural lives. We have full access to the King of Kings!
If you’ve turned away from Him or are stuck in a pattern of sin, you only have to turn back to Him. If you’ve never experienced the redeeming love of Chriist, you can confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, and you will be saved! (Romans 10:9). You are already forgiven. Receive it!
Kacy Ladd and the Help Club for Moms team
Thank you, Lord, for freedom in You. Thank you for Your Spirit, alive and active in us, so that we are never alone. Help me to remember today to turn to You and to stay in step with You. There are times when I don’t know how to do that, but I can always turn to You. When I call on You, You hear me. Thank you Jesus! Amen