The Upside of Resolutions

Have you ever talked to someone who said that they won’t make any resolutions because they always break them? While I certainly understand this (all too well), the downside of this attitude is that we can end up not making any decisions to move forward spiritually. As Donald Whitney writes, “No one coasts into Christlikeness.”

If you’re up for a serious challenge this week, I dare you to read through 70 Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards.  (http://www.apuritansmind.com/the-christian-walk/jonathan-edwards-resolutions/ ) I’m so far from exhibiting most of them in my own life but I found that the simple act of reading them has provided some motivation to move forward.

Here are some that really rocked me this morning.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great so ever.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

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