Jonathan Edwards was resolved to see himself as a man with no less sin than any other—a man with the same iniquity. His goal was to promote humility and repentance in his very own life; for such a (godly) sorrow would always lead him back to his God (2 Cor 7:10).
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
As I think about Edwards’ eighth resolution this morning, I’m reminded of the psalmist’s words that “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). A crushed heart is one that has been made ready to receive God’s sustaining grace. What is naturally in the way—the pride of life—has been disarmed. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psa 147:3).
There’s nothing move valuable than a contrite heart. (Yes, I know tonight’s the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing.) That was Edwards’ motivation, and I want it to be mine. Martin Luther once quipped, “What are all the palaces of the world—compared to a contrite heart?”
Read my previous post on Edwards’ Resolutions: Resolved in 2016