I have mixed emotions about New Year’s Day, not just because one year has gone and another is upon us. It is resolutions.  Sandy and I are very different in this.  She takes each New Year as an opportunity to review and plan ahead.  She then writes detailed resolutions. At year’s close she reviews her performance.  No, she hasn’t forgotten her beginning-of-the-year plans. She sticks with them.  That doesn’t mean that she succeeds in everything.  But, she makes a plan and tracks her progress.

Jonathan Edwards, father of the first great awakening in colonial America and also a pastor, sat down in the winter of 1722 and began writing his resolutions.  He penned his first 21 during his sitting.  Then over time, he added more bringing his list to completion in the summer 0f 1723.  He began saying…

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 soever.

The list went on to his last.  #70

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

Edwards was a scholar (briefly serving as president of Princeton before his untimely death) and one of the brightest minds ever produced on this continent. Yet, he was immensely practical. His stated his commitment to these plans up front saying that he would read them once a week.  Now Edwards was a champion of grace.  This is what gave such power to his preaching and writing.  But he also believe that for God’s glory and our happiness we should follow hard after Christ.  The goal of his resolutions was not pride before God but a humble desire to obey and serve the living God, to God’s own glory.  His preface stated:

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything 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’s sake.

Edwards did not believe that one needed New Year’s day to review one’s life.  It can be done anytime.   Yet we are at the turn of the year.  Why not use this time to review where you have been and consider where you are going.  That you might glorify and enjoy God during 2010. I think I shall make some resolutions of my own!

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on January 18, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Beautiful example.
    Me, on the other hand, “She sticks with them”; hmmmm, not so much :-/


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