New Years Resolutions that Work…

Jonathan EdwardsAt least they worked well for Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), an early American Congregational preacher and theologian. Many would assert that Edwards was one of America’s most important thinkers.

At just 19 years of age, Edwards wrote and adopted 70 resolutions he used to govern his decision making process through-out his life. Some of them follow.

Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly intreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.

  1. RESOLVED, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, 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 myriads of ages hence.
  2. RESOLVED, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
  3. RESOLVED, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
  4. RESOLVED, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  5. RESOLVED, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
  6. RESOLVED, Never to do anything out of revenge.
  7. RESOLVED, Never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
  8. 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.
  9. RESOLVED, Never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession which I cannot hope God will accept.
  10. RESOLVED, To ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
  11. RESOLVED, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
  12. RESOLVED, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them; and, what I might got by them.
  13. RESOLVED, Always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.

May my heart resolve to make decisions in similar ways.