“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing…And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Corinthians 13:3,13
Remember this in 2016: Emotions make great slaves but terrible masters. Are the emotions of your life – especially the emotion of love – mastering you? Do they govern your life? Or, do you transcend your emotions and make decisions that cause your emotions to follow you?
The first step to controlling the emotion of love is to know that love is, primarily, an action. When you put your hand on someone’s shoulder and say, “Can I pray for you?” Or, when you say to someone, “Hey, can I give you a glass of water or something to eat?” When you help out the poor, when you help those who are struggling, when you see somebody working in the cubicle next to you and you say, “How you doing?” and you really want to know. That’s love. When you live with grace and forgiveness for those you around you, that is love. Men, when you buy flowers for your wives, and women, when you bake cinnamon rolls for your husbands, that’s love.
Love is an action. It’s what you do for people. Love is something you can have for a complete stranger, because love is care for human good. So, if you say to a person, “I love you,” that means you care about their wellbeing even when you don’t even know them.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I relinquish the mastering of my emotions to you. I no longer want to be a slave to them, but to be a servant only of you. Take my feelings of love for others and help me to stabilize those emotions through actions of love. Amen.
Reflection: Have your emotions ever felt out of control? What happened to stabilize them? Did God play a part?