Edwards' Resolutions Are As Pertinent Today As They Were in 1723
January 1, 2004 - Jonathan Edwards wrote his "Resolutions," 70 in all, while he was on the cusp of finishing his ministerial training and anticipating his first ministry opportunity, at a church in New York City, hundreds of miles away from friends and family—a formidable responsibility for a man not yet 20 years old. With the "Resolutions," Edwards set a template, of sorts, to guide him throughout his life. They reflect the exemplary self-discipline he is known for and his lifelong passion to bow to the Lordship of Christ in all areas of his life. A portion of the "Resolutions" follows below. As we enter the new year, we would do well to examine our Christian walk and consider how we might raise the bar on our own resolve to live deliberately to the glory of God in all areas of our life.
by Jonathan Edwards
Being aware 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.
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 as I think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
RESOLVED, to examine carefully and constantly what is that one thing in me that causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
RESOLVED, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.
RESOLVED, after afflictions, to inquire how I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
RESOLVED, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
RESOLVED, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently that I may plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of them.
RESOLVED, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, except what tends to the glory of God.
RESOLVED, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God.
RESOLVED, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
RESOLVED, never to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.
RESOLVED, to ask every night as I am going to bed in what way I have been negligent, what sin I have committed and in what way I have denied myself; also to do this at the end of every week, month and year.
RESOLVED, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back until 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 origin of it.
RESOLVED, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, in what way I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
RESOLVED, never to do anything that I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
RESOLVED, to live with all my might, while I do live.