Life Theology

Resolutions, God’s Grace, and Jonathan Edwards

As the New Year is still underway, perhaps many are still sorting out what they want to work on this year (or, at least, until mid-February). For the most part, we list things like not eating as much, losing five pounds a month, reading more, praying more, or others.

Those are good things, of course. And goals are, to be sure, very good to have. It’s easier said than done, but we need to remember that we need God’s grace through the Holy Spirit to do these things–to do anything. Simply mustering up motivation and esteem to lose weight might make you thinner, but it also might make you angrier or arrogant. Manufacturing energy and will power to read the Bible and pray might get you practicing these disciples, but it also might turn you into a coldhearted Pharisee. Remember God’s grace, pray for God’s power, love God above all else, and, as St. Augustine, said, do as you please.

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, then, I want to direct you to the resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. He didn’t pen these during one of the wild Puritan New Year’s Eve parties. Rather, he compiled them over a period of time, mostly during the year 1723. Edwards had a ferocious passion for holiness in life and ministry, one that God used to rebuke me as I read these earlier this week. These resolutions are grace-driven and faith-fueled. I trust that God will use them to spur me on in the faith, and I hope they do the same for you. I plan to read them often throughout the year, not because they are inspired or revelatory, but because they are focused on the glory of God and living life to reflect the centrality of that.

You can read the resolutions as they originally appeared here. I found Desiring God’s post on Edward’s resolutions very helpful, as they put them into modern categories with subheadings to increase readability.

Happy resolving for the glory of God in 2013!