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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