Currently I am taking some high school guys through the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. Each Friday we gather together in my office and talk about the resolutions we had read and meditated on the week prior. We are going at a slow pace – last time we read the first six resolutions, and this week we will only do four – but we are finding that this is the most beneficial way to read through such spiritually nourishing material.
This past week we read through resolutions 1-6. What a blessing to see Jonathan Edwards’ diligence and passion for the glory of God. One particular Resolution that was especially convicting was #5. Edwards writes,
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
The context of the previous resolutions gives evidence that Edwards considered “that which tends to the glory of God” (#4), the good of mankind, and his own personal good (#1) to be his definition of ‘ most profitable.’ The resolution itself is simply an application of Ephesians 5:15-16, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time for the days are evil.”
There are two things that are convicting about Edwards’ resolution: 1) he was diligent not to waste time and 2) he gauged the use of his time by whether or not it was used in the most profitable way. There are many things I can do in order to not waste time, and many that are profitable; but the question is: is it the most profitable thing I could be doing at that time? More specifically, does it tend toward the glory of God, the benefit of others and promote my own personal good?
Time is precious; let’s follow the example of Jonathan Edwards and not waste it, but use it well, so that we might someday hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).