I attended a private Christian school for K-11th grade. One year, my Bible teacher had the class memorize all of Psalm 119, the longest and most repetetive chapter in the Bible*. I developed an allergic reaction to its verses. But today I read Psalm 19, a passage from which covers the same topic as Psalm 119 in paraphrase: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (verses 7,8).

Only very recently have I learned how this can be true, that God’s law need not be an annoying burden, but an empowering and wise approach to life. Is it really so hard to believe that God, the smartest and most knowledgeable being in the universe, who personally created us, would give an “owner’s manual” to his most beloved creation? God’s commands are not tiresome boundaries; they are the most sensible way to live in maximum joy and effectiveness. God is much smarter than the most well-known psychologists, economists, and self-help authors. His way is best; he knows what he’s talking about!

*The same teacher also had us hand-copy entire chapters of the New Testament. If one letter was messy, we had to do the whole page over again. Clearly, he was too lazy to teach a useful course on the Bible.