Monday, December 05, 2005

JE Resolution 4

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards can be roughly divided into five categories: living and dying, self control (control of tongue, emotions, time, gifts and talents) Christian character, ‘Do’s and Don’ts”, and self examination, with most spilling over into two or more categories. Others might divide them differently. But regardless of how one chooses to categorize or organize them, one thing is abundantly clear with even a cursory glance, and that is the purpose for which they were written: the Glory of God. This was JE’s raison d’etre--to live to the Glory of God. And not only his, it is our reason for being, regardless of whether we recognize it or not.

In reading the personal writings of Jonathan Edwards, I have noticed how often he reminds himself about Resolution 4. Even within the Resolutions themselves, he makes reference to this resolution. (see Resolution 23)

This resolution reminds me of something we used to say to our kids when they were little. We told them that we were making it easy on them; there are only two rules in our house. Listen to what we say, and do it. We told them that if they just followed those rules, they wouldn’t have to remember a whole bunch of do’s and don’ts and we wouldn’t have to get after them all the time. We were only half serious, as most of the time this was said when we were getting after them about one thing or another, but now--thinking back--it really was a good thing and it really was that simple.

I guess if I were to boil these resolutions down into a single, foundational one, this would be it. All the rest are designed to help us do this one thing--this foundational thing that is our raison d’etre: to Glorify God in body and soul.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Romans 11:36


[UPDATE:] Kim at the Upward Call has her reflections on Resolution 4 posted.

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