Be Perfect

jesus-teaching (1)

None of us will ever be perfect no matter how earnestly we try to be so.  So why then does Jesus command us to be perfect?

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Jesus wants us to be “perfect” as the Father is perfect.  What does that mean?  It means that we should love each other in the same way that the Father loves us.  He loves us unconditionally, despite our faults.  We don’t earn God’s love, we receive it as a free, loving gift.

Give that free gift to one another.

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5 Responses to Be Perfect

  1. Lee Surkin says:

    For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race. We fail in the work of grace and love when there is too much of us and not enough of God.

    • Ellen says:

      …again, thank you for such wisdom and your inspired words. This is a keeper for me!
      There was discussion of perfection in our Rediscovering Jesus session last night at St. Mary’s. Striving for that one “wing” as you describe it, leads to an imbalance of emotions to the negative. When we live in this imbalance, we are blinded to the fact that Christ can love our “bad wing” to its healing.
      In such healing, we can then hear his voice, see him in others AND ourselves. This can only lead to a place where we are content and comforted, able to know that our lives are worthy and our love will lead to Christ-filled action.

  2. Lee Surkin says:

    It is truly amazing how God plays in our lives. Thank you, we are all Blessed!

  3. Nancy Novicki says:

    This is a hard one! What I come up with is if I can’t say something nice,
    I should keep my mouth shut. Also, if I were hated by someone, I would
    still provide food for their hunger, drink for their thirst, etc., what better
    revenge? (tongue-in-cheek). I would also pray for them. It might be a
    short, little prayer but a prayer nonetheless. Finally, I would go to the
    greatest example of all, “Father forgive them for they know not what they
    do.”

  4. Mary Thomas says:

    I think a lot of us do this on a daily basis with people who are family and friends that we do not agree with and pray that we are able to genuinely do so and not do it because it is what is expected. Help us to be better servants of you lord to pray for those who are not of our beliefs and actions and that in turn give us your grace in our times of falling down on the job you have set us about to do.

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