At first our efforts were anxious and halting. We kept giving the Lord our trust and then taking it back.On one hand, it's frustrating because I know I can't move on to the next step until I've really got this one down. I did that the last few times I went through the steps and they didn't work for me. On the other hand, I've come to the same realization every addict comes to at this point in recovery:
Eventually each of us realized that we not only had to give up our addictions, but we also had to turn our entire will and life over to God.That scares me because I feel like there are certain things outside my addiction that I don't want to give up.
I spoke with my Bishop about that anxiety last night. To give him some background of how I view turning my entire will and life over to God, I told him a story: When I was a senior in high school, I decided I was never going to read a non-church related book ever again. Also, six months before I left for my mission, I decided not to go on any dates. I was giving up that thing I enjoyed to serve God better.
I know it's extreme, but for some reason I've always expected more of myself than others do, even God. My Bishop confirmed that when he said that God doesn't expect us to give up everything. I can still watch Netflix — I just shouldn't binge watch 10 episodes of Gotham in two days. I can still play games on my phone — I just shouldn't let it interfere with my family and other important things. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
What it boils down to is that submitting my will simply means being who God needs me to be.
In Matthew 23:23, Christ talks about how the scribes and Pharisees were so focused on giving the best for tithing, but they "omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith." Submitting my will is so much more about studying Christ's life and becoming more like Him — giving up those character weaknesses that don't fit the mold — than it is making sure I keep all the commandments.
Don't get me wrong. Keeping the commandments is essential to salvation, but there's more to it than that.