In 1984 I became a Christian and I have never regretted the decision. Becoming a Christian is life transforming – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5 v 22 – 23). You will become renewed. You will become a new creation.
So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!2 Corinthians 5 v 17
Becoming a new creation is instant and also lifelong. Expect to change immediately and be expecting to change over the rest of your life. I like to think of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (those qualities listed above) as a bar chart. When I became a Christian, I would say I was already quite loving so my bar chart of love was reasonably high. That could not be said in terms of my self-control, peace and patience. They would rank fairly low on my bar chart. The bar chart changes as I progress in life and I become more and more a Christ-like. That is my goal in life to become more and more Christ-like. Or as Ephesians 5 v 1-2 put it, “Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” I need to become an imitator of Christ.
So back to the bar chart of life. As I grow and imitate Christ the Holy Spirit nudges me so that instead of shouting and screaming and reacting in anger, I become more self-controlled, full of peace and take on the mantle of Christ, I become a peace-maker. My bar chart of self-control grows and I become more Christ-like.
I change in an instant and I am growing more Christ-like. One day when I die I will be fully renewed and like him who I love and worship, until then you will have to put up with the beat up, rough diamond that I am.