Off and on through the years, I have read and reread Jonathan Edwards’ insightful “Resolutions” at the turn of each calendar year.
Even though Edwards wrote these words over 280 years ago, they still speak to the same issues of life we deal with today. In them I find some excellent resolutions for this New Year.
I’m sure you will too.
Rather than reproduce them all, which you can read here, I have copied those resolutions (and their numbers) that have meant the most to me.
17. Resolved, That I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
24. Resolved, Whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
28. 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.
34. Resolved, In Narrations, never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.
40. Resolved, To inquire every night before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
43. Resolved, Never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s; agreeably to what is to be found in Saturday, Jan. 12th. Jun. 12, 1723.
51. Resolved, That I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age say bow they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, That I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
67. Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them; and, what I might have got by them.
Excerpts and image from The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. I (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1992).