His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. (Matt. 5:1–2)

“I HAVE TO CHANGE my whole life around. Everything I’ve ever known needs to be different from this point forward if I’m going to be successful. I’m scared and I don’t think I can do it,” Joanna said quietly to her brother. “I know now that I’m an alcoholic. I need to stay away from bars; I need to stop hanging around my old friends. I definitely can’t keep alcohol in the house. My therapist said I need to find new ways to cope with the everyday stressors of life. This is such a hard list of things to live up to. It is going to challenge me in a way that I never thought I would be willing to challenge myself.”

“I know it will be hard,” her brother answered. “Growing up in a family where alcoholism was common makes it that much more difficult, but you are doing the right thing. I’ve watched you struggle with this for years, not being able to hold down a job and moving from place to place.”

It might not seem like it at first, but the Beatitudes challenge us in core ways that the rest of the Sermon on the Mount clarifies. They call us to evaluate our basic motivations, the desires of our hearts. Those who struggle with addiction may understand this the most.

Talk to a recovering addict to discover something new about discipleship.

Amy Knepp is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and a stay-at-home mother of four children.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.