Daily Commitments for Excellent Living

(Joshua Spare) #1

I was recently reading through and reflecting on Jonathan Edwards’ resolutions, which, if you aren’t familiar, are 70 resolutions that Edwards made to himself to encourage excellent, God-glorifying thought and action in all of his day-to-day activities. A couple that especially popped out to me were:

  1. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don’t hinder.

I love the idea of taking the time, immediately, whenever a problem of theology or philosophy occurs, to begin working on finding a solution to the problem. I find it all to easy to think “hmm…that’s a sticky one!” and then to move on. How challenging and encouraging a resolution to take the time right away to begin investigating, and then promising yourself to return to the problem as time permits.

  1. 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.

This too is a phenomenal resolution, in my estimation, to have such a commitment to study God’s Word that there is a perceptible growth in our knowledge and understanding of God and His purposes for me and the world around me.

As I read through and reflected on these resolutions, I began thinking that surely this wonderful community must have some resolutions or commitments according to which you live in order to maximize your glorification of God. Would you be willing to share with me some of your resolutions?

(SeanO) #2

@jspare What I like about these two resolutions is their specificity. While I think at times that can be overwhelming, I also think that having clear goals is the only way to be sure to achieve them. More general life principles, such as ‘put God first’ and ‘pray without ceasing’ have a very important place because they are flexible and easy to remember. I wonder, if you approached Jonathan Edwards at random and asked him, “Could you list your 70 resolutions?” if he could remember all of them or if he ever intended to do so. Did he simply intend these as potential resolutions or did he aim to do them all at once? I think two simple resolutions in my life that have paid the greatest dividends are:

  • don’t wait to pray
  • take time each day to meditate on the Gospel through worship and prayer

Praying for people in my heart when the need is there or the thought crosses my mind has been meaningful in my life. I would never remember to pray for all of them if I tried to build up a list for a special time each day. And remembering what Jesus has done for me - that I was once blind, naked and poor and Christ clothed me in His garments and wiped away the blood and filth that I could become a son of the living God - that may be the most important thing I do each day.

(Katherine A Hooks) #3

I assume that resolution number 11 is about resolving a question about God that arises and needs to be explored until one has reached a satisfactory conclusion. This is wonderful! I’ve been doing this for many years but have found that when I pray for God’s leading, He enables me to push through and come up with answers that later will pop up in a conversation with someone. All because I was willing to resolve the question in my own mind through study of the Word and of the observations and lessons others have learned. What a great God we serve!

(Joshua Spare) #4

Thanks so much, @SeanO! Edwards begins his resolutions with the following statement:

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.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

I imagine that some were more persistently on his mind, while others, as he revisited them, were rebukes or commendations as he reflected on the prior week as to whether he had upheld the standards that he was attempting to establish.

Nevertheless, I hugely appreciate your two resolutions; they are incredibly poignant, utterly simple, and, I’m sure, incredibly fruitful!

And @khooks03, indeed, we do serve a great God! I love your emphasis on turning to God in prayer as we seek out the answer to these difficult questions - this is the first place to turn always, is it not? And God certainly seems to have a special way of helping to bring helpful thoughts to these questions at the most opportune times.

Thank you both for your thoughts on this! I am immensely encouraged!