The following are borrowed resolutions from Jonathan Edwards restated in my own words, and other resolutions which I was inspired by Edwards to come up with for myself. I revisited these resolutions this New Year, and plan to make it a regular habit to visit them annually, and tweek them as I need, or add as I need. The number in parentheses corresponds to the resolutions of Edwards as found in chapter 3 of The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. fourth printing 2004), lx-lxv.
1. To discontinue any actions for which I cannot give a precise explanation as to how it glorifies God (23).
2. To have a time-clock mentality, always being mindful of my short time in this life—and thus to take full advantage of every moment (5).
3. To let the knowledge and perceiving of the sins of others become occasions to ponder my own sin that I might grow in humility (8).
4. To think much of death and suffering (9).
5. To never get angry at irrational beings or objects (15).
6. To never speak critically of someone unless it be for the promotion of some real good (16).
7. To have strict eating and drinking habits which promote health and time management (20).
8. To trace the source of my sinful actions that I might endeavor with all my might and prayer against the cause of sin (24).
9. To have a healthy amount of scripture intake that I might be the more familiar with the word of God as a whole (28).
10. To always relate my experiences plainly, honestly, and accurately (34).
11. To never do anything which my conscious so much as questions (39).
12. To endeavor to conform my emotions and affections to the things of God (45).
13. When I am violently beset with temptation and sinful thoughts, to (after crying out to God) think of my possible future wife, and the disrespect and grief it would bring her—or to think of death and martyrdom (Edwards, Works I, Diary, ixxii, lxxiii).
14. To be careful not to plunge myself into a long debate for the sake of my pride, i.e. wanting others to see that I’m right; but only if I feel the desire that they should be better for being converted to a better way of thinking for some godly purpose; to know precisely what is at stake at such times (Edwards, Works I, Diary, lxxiii).
15. “My time is so short, that I have not time to perfect myself in all studies; wherefore resolved, to omit and put off all but the most important and needful studies” (Works I, lxxiii).
1. To never let my concerns go unmentioned to God, and to mention them to Him before expressing them to others (unless the concern be thought of spontaneously in conversation of which I should afterwards make known unto God).
2. To come before God three times a day in prayer.
3. To learn how to possess a simple amount of clothes, and to never spend money on expensive jewelry or personal adornment; yet to buy clothes of quality rather than buying cheap clothes which wear out quickly or which are hardly ever warn.
4. To keep a tight track of my money so as to never be unaware of how much I have in savings—that I might be more motivated to be conservative in my spending.
5. To buy only cheap coffee at coffee joints; unless I am buying for another or eating there.
6. To limit my caffeine intake to two half-calf cups in the morning and one regular or two half calf in the evening (at the most), without attaining to this limit on a daily basis. When coffee drinking gets out of hand, to fast from it for at least a couple of weeks.
7. To never become involved in so many ministries and activities that I am unable to do them well, and to avoid the error of imagining that I will be able to do more for the sake of the Kingdom of God by simply doing more—to remember that I must be selective to be most effective. To lay my options before me and judge what would be best fit for my gifts. To never be afraid to say “no” out of a desire to be please others or to be admired.
8. To not give continence to the criticisms of others; to grieve if I agree with their criticisms and exhort the both of us to pray for the person(s) being appropriately criticized.
9. To find joy in self-denial.
10. To comfort myself when suffering affliction, that “it is the very nature of afflictions, to make the heart better; and, if I am made better by them, what need I be concerned, however grievous they seem for the present” (Edwards, Works I, ixxii).