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Leader's Insight: Resolutions or Prayer

Two roads to greatness, and other observations from Gordon MacDonald's journal.

A leadership development group my wife, Gail, and I lead spent an evening last week studying the influence of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, New Englanders who lived in Northhampton, Mass. (where Jonathan was pastor, c. 1740). In the course of our conversation someone mentioned the resolutions that Edwards had written during his young adult years—brief, pithy statements that he hoped would serve as guides and reminders to him about the conduct of his own Christian life.

Going to my library, I found Edwards's Resolutions in a copy of his "Basic Writings" edited (years ago) by Ola Elizabeth Winslow. Reading through them (there are 70 of them in my book) did not take long. Understanding and appreciating them did.

Some resolutions seem rather austere such as, Resolved: Never to utter any thing that is sportive, or a matter of laughter, on a Lord's day (December 23, 1772). Another, Resolved: Never to do any thing out of revenge (undated). And a third, Resolved: To maintain the strictest temperance ...

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