In the Spotlight and Resolutions

If you haven’t already noticed, there are some links In the Spotlight regarding speech. I hope you find these edifying and challenging.

Last night, I re-read Jonathan Edwards’ “Resolutions.” He had a more than a few resolutions regarding his mouth and his fight against sin that I found quite relevant to my recent posts. I thought I’d post them today.

# 8 Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

# 12 Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.

#16 Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

# 21 Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

#22 Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possible can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

#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.

# 31 Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.

# 36 Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.

#56 Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

# 58 Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.

#70 Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

5 Comments on “In the Spotlight and Resolutions

  1. Leslie,Maybe, I just need to read it more slowly. Perhaps I ought to print it. Why does he start every tick with “resolved”? Seems like it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to actually live up to what he has “resolved” to do.Do you think that winning the battle over our tongue comes when we are in prayer? Do you know how to pray for that victory? When you do learn, you must tell me, so that I can have some victory too.You see I am wicked like us all, and when I am caught off my guard, (without the time for a pretense) I am rude and frustrated, and use my tongue to give a lashing.I would love to see the victory over my frustration and anger, so that my tongue doesn’t speak so harshly. Now that I am writing this I am thinking that really the root of my frustrations are always some “offense” against my self, I mean to say, it is selfishness, I tell myself I am too busy or too tired, or I am upset by some infringement on “me time” (though I never take a designated “me time” other than to pray inthe AM).Hmm… I think I must resolve to trace these things to the root too, and to pray about that.So please if you have any insight about how to pray other than “Lord help me to be less selfish” which is about as deep as I get in prayer… I would be much obliged.Thanks,Your sister in Christ,Meg


  2. I have been reading the sites you have in the spotlight and have found them to be very encouraging and challenging. Thanks.


  3. My only advice for prayer is don’t stop doing it. There aren’t any tricks or chants or magic words. Just pour your heart out. I have not experienced sanctification to be instantaneous in any respect. It is definitely a growth process and something that God does as it pleases Him and brings Him glory.I’m really not one for “know how,” but I can share what works for me. One thing that God continues to use in my life is His word. I have written out numerous verses of scripture on notecards, or more recently, in a spiral notebook. If I am struggling with anger, or outbursts of anger, then I’ll look up verses regarding anger, peace, patience, self-control, and other opposites of anger, and write them down and read through them, if not daily, then every couple of days in the mornings to keep them fresh on my mind. Doing this proves helpful when I’m tempted to blow up at the kids or Hubby. I’m not so tempted to do that kind of thing in front of anyone else. Go figure. I do this for all sorts of sin. Add to that a measure of self-control in all things, walking in the Spirit, and a heap of God’s grace…but I don’t believe there is a one size fits all answer. We are all so different and God deals with us differently. Having said that, though, I will say that there are two indespensible keys: prayer and God’s word.You know, as I write this I keep thinking of other things that are necessary–right attitude, humility, a teachable spirit, obedience, love…and we can’t manufacture those things within ourselves. They are gifts of grace. The desire to overcome sin is a gift. I can’t think of anything that isn’t a gift flowing from God through Christ. So, I’m back to prayer. Pray, pray, and pray some more. Ask for it. Ask for victory over sin. And then work out whatever God works in you toward that end. I will also recommend a couple of books just in case you like to read. Piper’s book Future Grace is a wonderful book for answers regarding defeating sin. If you don’t like Piper, I hear there is an updated printing of John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation coming out soon.I hope this is helpful and encouraging. God began the work in us and He will be faithful to complete it. We have to trust Him.


  4. Wow, those are great resolutions…..Jonathan Edwards writings are great.


  5. Thanks Leslie.BTW my father visited here the other day, and mentioned to me that he liked your blog. You can check out his new blog at if you like.What you said is what I already knew.. I guess I was just ignoring what has been helpful in the past. Perhaps I do not WANT to give up some of my sin… (bad thing in and of itself)Mrs Meg Logan


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