So how would you complete this sentence? Living for what or for whom? Here’s the reply from Jonathan Edwards – the puritan, not the sports commentator and former triple-jumper! As a young adult in the 1850’s Edwards set down on paper a series of thoughts and practices to help cultivate growth in grace. These resolutions are immense, and Edwards would re-read this list at least once a week to keep his mind focused and renewed! To call himself back to clarity of living.
These seventy resolutions are still a practical and beneficial tool for spiritual life, if a little stuck in 18th century language that makes it sometimes difficult to grasp what Edwards wrote. Here are some of these refreshed as a scene setter: “Aware that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do pray that, by his grace, he will enable me to do all that will honour Christ.
1. Resolved: I will do whatever I think will be most to God’s glory; and will provide the most good and benefit to mankind in general.
3. Resolved: If ever – really, whenever – I fail and fall or grow weary and dull; I will repent of everything I can remember that I have violated or neglected, …as soon as I come to my senses again.
6. Resolved: To live with all my might, …while I do live.
7. Resolved: Never to do anything which I would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
16. Resolved: Never to speak badly of anyone, except if it is necessary for some real good.
30. Resolved: To strive to my utmost every week to be brought to a higher spiritual place, and to a greater experience of grace, than I was the week before.
70. Let there be something of good and grace, in all that I speak.”
Edwards’ resolutions are something that consistently challenge me. This is the invitation, to live worthy of Jesus!
Let’s restart again, each day to live for Christ and his cause.
- JOHNNY DOUGLAS
Posted on Monday, 4th September 2017