All sin is contrary to human nature. All sin is destructive to our bodies and souls. God’s law is not a set of arbitrary hoops for us to jump through to prove how much we love Him, but rather the very definition of what we are. It is an owner’s manual for being a human being.
But there’s a risk here. It is tempting to focus entirely on this aspect of sin, out of a hope that we will offend people less. If I can tell people that the reason they shouldn’t do something is because it is bad for them, they might be more inclined to accept that, instead of an appeal to God’s bare right to command. And Scripture certainly does talk about sin this way- “Why do you labor for that which is not bread?” But far more commonly, Scripture talks about sin as something that offends a holy God.
It is so easy to become man-centered, so easy to get focused on me and what I want and what will give me the life that I want to have. And certainly, a life following God is far better for my happiness and prosperity than a life in rebellion against Him, and that is true both now and in eternity. But it must actually be a life following God, and that means establishing first of all that God has a right to be followed, a right to be worshiped and obeyed, regardless of people’s offense. If people reject the idea that God has that right, then no talk of “human flourishing” is ever going to win them over.
“He that loves his live will lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” In other words, our great welfare comes when we stop worrying about our welfare, stop worrying about what is good for us, and start focusing on what God has commanded. We will only truly understand God’s law when we understand that it is His Law, and even if it were just arbitrary hoops for us to jump through, He would have every right and we’d better get to jumping. And only when we do, when that becomes our mindset, we will discover how much human flourishing there really is to be had in following God’s law.