While catching up on my reading lately, I followed a citation to an interesting document written by Jonathan Edwards over the course of his life. While he was a teenager, he composed a list of resolutions, the preamble of which was to review them weekly. He continued to add items to the list over the course of his life. The first one in the list struck me:
Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, 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 to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
Edwards, appropriately, begins with a reminder to live to God's glory first, not (merely) to his own. This first personal imperative inspires the next: do his duty and act for the good of mankind in general.
I am one who really hates confrontation. I became thoroughly disgusted with my options in the presidential race a LONG time ago and have brandished my "undecided" flag proudly. But Edwards' comment drove me into my Bible and onto the Internet doing my own research and fact checking. Being undecided is nothing to be proud of. America is my country, this is my duty, and I have adopted Edwards' first resolution.