Take, for example, the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. This passage is often taken as a set of rules that Christians ought to follow; 'Do this. Don't do that.' But what if, instead, it was a description of how life will be for those living under God's power? Dallas Willard says in The Divine Conspiracy that Jesus' aim with the Sermon was to help his listeners understand 'the nature of the kingdom into which they are now invited'. Willard goes on:
'Far from being additional laws to crush us or show us we can't make it on our own (of course we can't!), the separate parts [of the Sermon] are distinct perspectives on the sweet life of love and power, of truth and grace, that those who count on Jesus can even now lead in his kingdom.'
Now doesn't that lift your spirit, rather than crushing it with a list of rules that nobody could ever dream of living up to?