Andrew Hughes | Category: The Christian Life
When it comes to resolutions, no person has “resolved” in history like the man Jonathan Edwards. Over the years of 1722 and 1723, he penned 70 resolutions, being only 19 years old at the time. If you read through these, as I hope you will, you will be struck with the immeasurable degree of richness that flows from the thought of such a young man. This man’s thought will compel you to think deeply about life, your motives, and eternity. As an example of such…
Resolution #4-Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.
Resolution #23-Frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the fourth Resolution.
But what makes all 70 of these resolutions the most meaningful is that which he wrote at the beginning of them:
“Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ sake.”
What do you we learn from this for our own “resolves” this new year?
1) Make sure your resolves are focused on God’s grace as your enablement and not your own ability to “perform.” Otherwise, when you fail, you will wallow in guilt, or when you succeed, you will boast in your efforts.
2) Make sure your resolves are in line with the will of God. That is, do they line up with what God has revealed to me as His directives, not simply what I think I should accomplish in the next year?
3) Make sure your resolves are for the glory of Christ. If your resolves only result in “feeling better” about yourself, you have turned your efforts into a self-salvation project. Make sure you are not subconsciously saying to yourself, “Being aware that I am capable of doing anything and being anyone I want, I boldly assert my willpower to keep my resolutions because they are what I want to do, what will make me a better person, and what will make me feel good about myself.”
[See this for the full list of his resolutions.]
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