Have you ever thought about how keeping the commandments makes life so much easier?
A few months ago, I had the thought, “The Word of Wisdom is basically the biggest life hack ever.” (A “life hack” is a way to make your life better or to live more efficiently.)
It’s as if God said, “Here’s a way to save you money, help you stay healthy, protect your kids, and avoid really tough emotional burdens, including your own and others’ addictions.” It’s almost as if God anticipated all the problems we’d be up against and gave us a way to avoid half of them.
How to Navigate the World as Painlessly as Possible
With any of God’s commandments, we have the choice to follow them or ignore them. But as I thought of the Word of Wisdom as a set of guidelines from God that both anticipates and protects us from so many challenges, I thought, “What if all of God’s commandments work that way?” What if a loving Heavenly Father, who has experienced this life and its challenges, has given a guidebook to help us navigate the world as painlessly as possible? And what if He gave that to us because He loves us and wants to protect us?
- Want to be content with what you have, to be happy and grateful? “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house” (Exodus 20:17).
- Want to avoid guilt, incarceration, crippling bail, and court fees? Want to keep people’s trust and respect—and your job? “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
- Want to stay close to God so that He can guide and direct you and help carry your burdens? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).
The list goes on and on. Every single commandment can protect us from heartache, make our lives easier, keep us out of trouble, or just help us find peace. And all with so very little personal cost or inconvenience. (And no hidden fees!)
God’s commandments are much more than mere guidelines or helpful life hacks. But they’re also really that simple. Heavenly Father can’t protect us from everything. But as a loving parent, He would like to prepare us and protect us from the cost of our choices—by guiding us to make better ones.
If Bad Things Happen, Why Bother?
Of course, we can keep the commandments and still have bad things happen. So why bother?
- Because we’ll never know what we are being protected from through our obedience.
- Because it helps free us from a life of self-inflicted wounds.
- Because obedience helps us stay close to God.
- Because it puts us in position to repent when we choose wrong.
- Because we trust God to know how to bless and protect us.
The list goes on and on. It is so much longer than the list of reasons not to keep the commandments.
For better or worse, God lets me choose how obedient I want to be. I get to choose how much I open myself to the blessings He has for me. So why keep the commandments? Because I want my life wide open to the help God is trying to give.