“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Most Christians would do well to start their exploration of faith in this verse. Frankly, if you’re not developing these qualities, why are you wasting your time? I don’t care about your “relationship” with Jesus, SHOW ME YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON.
I also think pastors and church leaders would do well to start at the end of the list and work backwards. We all know what love is, arguably. It’s not something most of us have to really cultivate. Love of enemies is another issue altogether, but follow me on this.
Self control though? You must be joking. Real health issues aside, I think being overweight or obese makes you a bad Christian. Wanna tell me about sin when you can’t control your eating? PUT THE COOKIE DOWN. Your body’s supposed to be a temple, not a megachurch.
I think Christians would do well to embrace the insights of behavioural psychology. I could talk about it but I’d just be plagiarising James Clear’s excellent article. Much of the ideas on self-control I’ve heard bandied about in churches are as useful as a carpet fitter’s ladder.