We’ve come to that time in the year where people are making, or have made, a resolution on what they will attempt to achieve in the new year. Whether it’s losing weight, going to the gym, being more patient with the children or trying to improve one’s temper, resolutions are generally intended to positively change or improve certain aspects about ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with making such resolutions. After all, we know that as Christians we are to live in a way which is purposeful, intentional, and determined. Yet, we also realise that Christians, having been purchased by the blood of Christ, “should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
Evidently then, any resolution made by a Christian should reflect this desire to live not for oneself but for Christ; specifically, to live in a manner which seeks to bring glory to God. There can be no greater aim, no larger goal, and no better ambition in regards to wanting to positively improve our lives than this.
A young Jonathan Edwards, the great American revivalist, understood this better than most, and was determined to make life-long resolutions to give glory to God, but he also knew that such an improvement was contingent upon God’s grace.
Therefore, when he was only twenty, Edwards compiled a list of 70 resolutions, which he charged himself to commit to and read once a week.
Here are his resolutions one, four and five:
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, 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. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
I encourage you to read the rest, which can easily be found online. However, in the meantime, what will your resolution(s) be in 2017?