Friday, 9 January 2009

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: #1

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad's of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.

There are actually three resolutions bunched together here it seems. But that's how it's presented in my source. Hmm...

When I first came across Jonathan Edwards' resolutions, I had difficulty understanding this resolution. I couldn't understand how Jonathan Edwards could pursue his own good, profit and pleasure and God's glory at the same time. I thought pursuing God's glory meant that it necessarily required my own good, profit and pleasure had to go.
But now I think I understand it a little bit better. Previously, I thought pursuing my own good could only be a selfish thing, which now I understand that it may not always be a selfish thing, and it really depends on how you define and understand "good". A godly discipline for himself is certainly good for him, but also is in line with God's glory. Additionally, as I grew as a Christian, it became apparent that the pursuit of God's glory and of my own good, profit and pleasure aren't two separate pursuits, but really an inseparately interlinked one. It is because my heart starts to rejoice over God's glory, that God's glory is in fact my greatest pleasure. It is because God's glory is the most precious thing in the universe that I starts to pursue that anything that extends, or displays His glory becomes my profit. And it is out of total abandonment of myself unto God that I define God's glory as my own good.

Oh, not that I have obtained all this, but I desire to be more God-centred, love Him more, serve Him with all my being.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. -- Philippians 3:12

(Source: A Puritan's Mind)

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