You know it’s a new year when every ad on TV is either for gym membership or diet supplements, the letterboxes are full of stationary catalogues and people all around you are making resolutions you very much think will be forgotten by February.
Resolutions are not always bad things. As a seventeen year old, the famous 18th century theologian and preacher Jonathan Edwards made no less than 70 resolutions for his life (ah, the enthusiasm of youth!). While you may want to make it a more manageable one or two, it’s the type of resolutions Edwards made that is really instructive and worth duplicating.
Here’s three elements to his resolutions that’d be worth thinking about if you’re making your own:
Edwards pursued the glory of God
Item number four on his list perhaps puts it best: “Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God.”
They were life resolutions, not new year resolutions
His resolutions were lifetime goals. These were resolutions that he shaped his life around and by which he measured himself. He kept regular track of his progress, journaling about his struggles and progress along the way.
He drew from God’s strength
These words precede his list of resolutions: “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 knew he needed God’s strength to do anything.
Happy new year!