Last year my husband and I were driving and we came across a guy holding a sign about how sinner's are going to hell. People who do this really enrage us. How can they think they can reach people by condemning them without even knowing them? My husband and I stopped by and pretended to be atheists (my husband mostly, I just sat there). Eventually we told the guy we were actually Christians trying to test him, so he could see his way would not work for people. This guy said we weren't really Christians and didn't have the Holy Spirit in us because we didn't have any fruit. This was really hurtful for me. I think my husband was able to shrug it off like it was nothing, but it really bothered me for a while.
Another time several years ago I was on a missions trip. While I was there I told someone that I struggled with depression. They brought me to a group of several of the leaders and tried to cast out a demon out of me! I was expecting I'd foam at the mouth or start convulsing but nothing happened. So twice my Christianity has been questioned, and that's not all the times this year it's been questioned due to my political views!
Let's take a look at what fruit are. When someone talks about the fruit of the Spirit, they mean love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). I will admit, I don't have every single one of them, though I don't think there's anyone who truly had all of them (other than Jesus). Just because we don't have all of them though, does that mean we really don't have the Holy Spirit in us? Don't get me wrong though, just because we don't have all of them, it doesn't mean we don't need to work on them still. The ones I mostly struggle with are joy, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control (in my opinion). That's quite a bit that I don't have, but that doesn't give me an excuse to not work on them. We need to ask God to help us receive the ones we don't have, and they will take work. Like patience? There's a saying to never pray for patience because God won't just give it to you, He'll teach it to you which means you're going to have a lot of opportunities to practice that patience; but if you don't have it, it will drive you to insanity!
Now that we know what it means to have fruit, what does it have to do with us? If we don't have all of them, does that mean we don't have the Holy Spirit in us? Nope. To have the Holy Spirit in you doesn't really have to do with the fruit (I know I'm going to get in trouble for saying that, but hear me out). The fruit of the Spirit is for those who ALREADY have the Spirit in them. To know someone by their fruit is to recognize they follow Christ, but it doesn't determine whether you have the Spirit in you. You want to know how to know if you have the Spirit in you? Recognize Jesus' love for you. Believe that He sacrificed Himself for you and realize you need Him to be saved. Saved from what? The darkness of the world and the darkness in ourselves. We are slaves to the darkness, but Jesus releases us from its bondage. To have the Holy Spirit in you means Jesus paid the price for you. While you were a slave to darkness, Jesus bought you and set you free! No longer are we slaves to death and the darkness, we become children of God! We go from slave to children of the King! To have the Holy Spirit in you means you are child of God. "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26) The Holy Spirit will teach us and remind us of everything Jesus has said. The Holy Spirit will show us what we do wrong. The Holy Spirit will help us grow more into the people God created us to be.