Now is the time of year that I hear a lot of people talking about what they want to change or accomplish in the next year. Most of the time these "resolutions" are kept for a few days or at most a few months. We live in a culture that most of the time does not keep commitments because we want to quit whenever things get hard. Whenever I hear someone talk about what their resolution is for the next year I always think about Jonathan Edwards.
When he was just 19 or 20 he wrote down a list of resolutions. These were not just things that he wanted to accomplish in a year, but these were lifetime resolutions. If you are looking for something that you want to accomplish this year, pick one and try your hardest to live it out. Better yet, challenge yourself that you are going to read over this list a certain number of times a week or month and actually stick to it. I really believe that with these things in your heart and mind you will be challenged to live for God every day.
There are a lot more but here are the first 10 put into modern english.
1. Whatever I do, I will do to give the most glory to God, and also for my own good and pleasure, as long as I live, no matter how long it takes to master. I also will fulfill my calling to do good to all mankind as much as I am able, no matter how much difficulty I face.
2. I will continually strive to come up with new ways to accomplish the things mentioned in #1
3. If I ever find myself becoming disinterested in keeping these resolutions, I vow to turn back as soon as I realize it, and do everything I can to remember and keep them.
4. I vow to never do anything, in thought or deed, whether it be a big thing or a little thing, except to do that which brings honor and glory to God. I will also stay away from those things that do not honor God as much as I possibly can, and whenever possible; I will try to put a stop to activities that bring God dishonor.
5. I realize the importance of the time I have been given by God. I vow to never lose one moment to worthless activities, but constantly think of ways to make the most of the time I have.
6. I vow to live my life with all the passion I can muster up until my very last breath.
7. I vow to never do anything that I would be ashamed of if I knew that I was facing imminent judgment.
8. I vow to live with the understanding that I am no better than the most wicked person to ever live. I vow to allow this attitude to remind me that I am constantly in need of confession and God’s mercy.
9. I vow to always remind myself that this physical life is temporary, and that death could come at any moment.
10. I vow, that whenever I experience physical pain, I will remind myself of those who are suffering for the sake of Christ, and also to remind myself of the great mercies of God which saved me from the justice of eternal punishment in hell. I do this to increase my compassion for those who need Christ and motivate me to share the message of the gospel to those that do not believe.