Delighting in the Law of the Lord

We were starting a series on the Psalms in our adult Sunday morning Bible class at church. And, of course, you start off with Psalm 1:
Psalm 1.1-2
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
We spent some time wrestling with how counter-cultural this passage is for modern Americans. Who of us "delight in the Law"?

We are a people who prize independence, autonomy, liberty and freedom. From children to teenagers to adults we equate law with rules, limitations and restrictions.

We are ill-equipped to hear the message of Psalm 1.

And yet, every great wisdom tradition--from Judaism to Islam to Buddhism to Hinduism to Stoicism to Christianity--agree on this one central point: human flourishing flows out of discipline. There is wide agreement across this wisdom traditions on this issue. Human flourishing requires discipline.

Americans, by contrast, think that flourishing flows out of the maximization of choice and freedom. The more choices and the fewer restrictions the better our ability to seek and find our happiness.

Two visions of flourishing sit before us.

Does happiness flow from saying "No" to the self or from saying "Yes" to the self?

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