Resolved: Personal & Spiritual Growth in 21 Painful Steps

Jonathon Edwards Resolutions

I’m going to do something crazy from now through the end of July. New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me, so I’m going to make a Mid-Year’s Resolution.

Actually, I’m going to make 21 of them.

Why would I do that?

I was inspired to undertake this little series by some work I came across from the Puritan preacher Jonathon Edwards. Before he was the giant that theology nerds and Bible geeks know him to be, Edwards was a young pastor simply trying to figure things out.

In his journal, Edwards penned 70 personal resolutions. He started writing these resolutions at the age of eighteen and finished them by his 20th birthday. This was Edwards’ way of planting his feet and saying, “By His grace for His service, this is who I want to be.”

Edwards would read this list to himself weekly.

So here’s my 21st century spin on that.

I’m not going to pen 70 resolutions in my journal. Instead, I’m going to type 21 resolutions on my blog. I would love for you all to join me on this, but I’ll get to that in a bit. First, I want to elaborate on my resolutions by explaining what they’re not…

  • They’re resolutions, NOT legalisms. Nobody’s issuing any commands here. This isn’t intended to be the 21 day guide to some proper Christian life. God help me if I were ever so arrogant as to think I could write something like that.
  • I’m not issuing platitudes. These are personal moral, spiritual, financial, and physical resolutions. They’re not blanket moral imperatives or commands. I don’t need or want any of you to go out and do as I do. I would love to have you there with me as I do it, however.
  • I’m not the Holy Spirit. God is completely sovereign and His plans are always far, far better than anything that I could ever dream up for myself. That said, each of these resolutions would more rightly be viewed as a prayer; a prayer that God would show me the grace to knock me down and build me up in the way most pleasing to Him.

What’s this got to do with leadership?

Being a better leader begins with being a better me.

If I want to lead teams, employees, friends, business partners, etc., then I’ve got to be painfully diligent in the way I pursue my own growth. If you’re a leader, which you are, then I would suggest you pay close attention to your growth as well.

Here’s what it looks like.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll write a new resolution nearly everyday. I’ll unpack my resolution briefly, attach some supporting context to it, and list out a few practical ways in which it should play out for me.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Take my resolutions and make them your own.
  • Write your own resolutions and share them here.
  • Join me and share your experience on Twitter. #Resolved
  • Tell me I’m crazy and rebuke me in the comments section.

A Closing Word

This is part of my pursuit; a dogged, intentional trek towards the man whom I believe God wants me to be in service of His people. This month will be personally focused, but it’s my hope and prayer that you would pick something up along the way that will help you.

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10 Responses to Resolved: Personal & Spiritual Growth in 21 Painful Steps

  1. Eric June 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I like your thoughts here. It’s funny that you mentioned this because the other day in my prayer time the Holy Spirit asked what kind of leader do I want to be. I thought about some traits that I want to develop further in my life and felt that I should write them out and begin to lay out a plan to incorporate them more fully in my life. Sounds like you’ve already started on your journey.

    • Kenny Silva June 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      Thanks so much for sharing that, Eric. I don’t think it’ll end up looking like a plan as much as an intentional reminder. I hope to have a list of 21 resolutions that I can look over weekly and consistently be reminded to pray for that kind of direction.

      I’ll be excited to hear how your plan and your walk flesh out. Please feel free to share that here and to stay in touch. If I can help at all, please feel free to holler.

  2. Martina June 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Good post, Kenny. You are correct, we may not be the Holy Spirit, but we long to be in close contact with it and to heed its call when it comes. There are far too few people of conviction. I applaud your willingness to step out there…
    And I will do my best to follow along.

    • Kenny Silva June 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Thank you, Martina. I’ll look forward to your feedback, input, and stories as we go.

  3. Anonymous June 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    I like how you call it a dogged, intentional trek. That’s what it’s got to be. I’ll have to think of my own resolutions.

    • Kenny Silva June 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Thanks very much for commenting. I’ll look forward to reading them!

  4. J. Alex Sánchez June 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Good stuff, Kenny. Looking forward to following your resolutions and making my own as well. I’m a Jonathan Edwards fan too–currently reading JE on Beauty.

  5. Lyn June 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    I will certainly be in agreement with you in prayer and am looking forward to sharing with you in this area of ministry. Taking it day by day with God’s help, I’m quite sure you will evolve into the man needed for such a time and season as this!

  6. Jason Wert June 29, 2011 at 4:57 am #

    A dogged, intentional trek…I’ve been doing that all year with my blog.  I hit the half way point on Friday…it’s surreal that half the year is gone already.

    I’m looking forward to your resolutions.

  7. Rob Still July 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I just discovered this series, Kenny.  I love Jonathan Edwards and his resolutions. Looking forward to reading these.

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