Inspired by 2 Corinthians 9:1-5
“So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you, and arrange in advance for this bountiful gift that you have promised, so that it may be ready as a voluntary gift and not as an extortion.” 2 Corinthians 9:5 (NRSV)
Human beings live by their emotions. How we feel frequently determines how we act and what we say. It’s not at all uncommon for someone to get caught up in the moment and do something that feels right and seems like a good idea at the time, only to regret it when the highly charged emotions of that moment fade and only the consequences of their actions are left.
There is certainly room for forgiveness for our occasional emotionally charged deeds. But we also have to remember that words matter. Promises made during an emotional high are still promises, and people depend on those promises being kept as they engage in their own planning processes. Not keeping those promises can lead to hurt feelings, failed plans, and sometimes demands for faithfulness to the promises made regardless of how the person feels about keeping those promises now.
Emotions are not bad, but they cannot be the sole or even the primary influence in our decision-making. What is your state of mind when you promise to give or do something? What is the emotion you’re experiencing as you make that decision? God won’t ask more of you than you can give, though people (even God’s people) often do. Let your faith, your reason, and yes, even your emotions work together to guide you in your decisions, so that the promises you make will be kept willingly, and not because you feel you have to.
Let us pray. God of abundance, you have given us many blessings. Help us to recognize the limits of our resources and our abilities, that we may serve you faithfully and willingly. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.