Reposted from The Cripplegate.
Two weeks into 2019 and I’m guessing some of us are already behind in our yearly Bible reading plan. If you’re like me, getting one or two days behind in January can be discouraging enough to want to call the whole thing off.
That’s what happened to me last year. I had an ambitious 10-chapter-per-day plan to get me through the whole Bible twice, and the New Testament three times. But this plan also meant that missing a day or two made catching up a major undertaking.
After falling behind and catching up, and repeating that cycle a few times, I shelved my plan… but not my Bible. Instead of insisting that I complete all ten chapters every day, if I could only do two or three, then I did only two or three. And if I skipped a day or two, I just picked up where I left off. The result: I got through the whole Bible…once.
That feat was not as satisfying as the former plan would have been. But it had the advantage of being realistic and realized.
The principle I learned is that the task was more enjoyable and effective when tackled by simply chipping away bit-by-bit, without the crippling guilt and self-loathing of falling short of a particular, overly ambitious plan.
The mascot for this approach to achieving goals is Frenchman, Michel Lotito (1950-2007). You may know him by his delightful sobriquet, Monsieur Mangetout (pronounced mun-jê-toot), meaning “Mr Eats it All.”
With appreciation to A Puritan’s Mind and the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Jonathan Edwards was born in the American Colonies in 1703 and raised in the Puritan and Congregationalist tradition. He entered Yale College just shy of 13 years of age and graduated at the head of his class in 1720. He wrote the resolutions below from 1722 to 1723, at age 19. At the time, he was studying theology at New Haven and serving as pulpit supply at a small Presbyterian church.
Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.
Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.