January 1st, 2017…and you’re probably already thinking about the resolutions you made several hours ago when the clock hit midnight. Sadly there are those circles of people that frown upon the thought of making resolutions for the New Year. But, are resolutions bad? After all, what is a resolution? A simple dictionary response is to be firmly determined, or resolute about a purpose or course of action. So the real question would have to be what is one being resolute about. Weight loss? Eating healthier? Or, are they along the lines of reading God’s Word daily? Being more involved at Church?
When I think of New Year resolutions among Christians I can’t help but to think of Jonathan Edwards and his seventy resolutions! Sure, they were not like our New Year resolutions, but nonetheless he wrote seventy resolutions about what he was firmly determined, or resolved about when it came to his walk with the Lord (Lawson 2008, xiii). Jonathan Edwards was a brilliant theologian and humble pastor that God used mightily during the first Great Awakening. He not only made resolutions, but wrote them out and pinned them to the inside of his coat when he traveled to review them weekly (157). Weekly!
Don’t be too quick in frowning upon others who make a resolution that seeks to glorify the Lord. Encourage them in their walk and be excited that through their self-examination they realize something about themselves that they consider has fallen short. Heaven knows how much I have struggled over the years in my own walk. Truthfully, we need more of this today among the body of professing believers. To be resolved that the Lord Jesus Christ would be glorified through our thoughts, speech, and actions!
Lawson, Steven J. The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards. Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008.