Christmas is almost gone and that time of year is nearly upon us–and for some it’s already here–when we begin thinking of setting New Years resolutions for ourselves. Maybe this is something you do much earlier than the last week of the year. I tend to get a bit more serious in my attitude, with just a few days remaining in the year, about what I will do different in the year ahead but I don’t often call this resolution making. Yes, I’ll set a few “goals” for myself but I doubt I’ll tell you what they are until I’ve arrived at 2004 having successfully achieved my goals–then I’ll gloat.
Johnathan Edwards was a pretty serious maker of resolutions. Here are just a few from this list of seventy resolutions he made during his lifetime that challenges me to consider setting loftier goals for myself this year.
5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
7. Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
14. Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge.
16. Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
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.
41. Resolved, To ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
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.
69. Resolved, Always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
70. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.