Friday, 23 January 2009

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards: #3

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

This, contrary to the first impression, isn't a simple reinforcement of the rest of the resolutions. This resolution shows that even this great pastor/theologian at times experienced spiritual dry seasons. He knew it too well that he could feel down or be indifferent to these resolutions. But he also knew that such season is temporary and when he comes back to his senses again, he would repent of all that he could remember. This repentance bit is critical. So many of us these days seem to either neglect that we still have responsibilities and must repent of anything that is sub-standard of God, excusing ourselves by saying these dry seasons are only normal to any Christian life or he is simply experiencing depression that he cannot do anything about and should not feel obliged to apologise for it.
I will be first to affirm that this feeling of spiritual low or even depression is normal. Everyone goes through multiple times of spiritual dry seasons. Many go through depression in their life time, albeit the severity may differ. However, when we come to our sense again, ie. when, by God's grace, we are once again reminded of Him and His great purpose, we ought to repent of the time that we spent in indifference to Him and His great call. God deserves our all, and whatever hindered us from giving all of ourselves is sin or results of sins, and we must repent.

A wonderful thing about this is that as you repent, you will again realise that it is not you who first turned yourself, but it is God's grace that turned you so you may now repent, hence, Edwards also says, "when I come to myself again", not "I will come to myself again."

(Source: A Puritan Mind)

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