This command of Jesus is terribly intimidating even when we realize that “perfect” means “whole” or “complete” or “mature” and even when we realize that, given the context within which this saying occurs, our perfection is to be perfection in showing love to all, even to our enemies.
After all, we all know how divided and incomplete and immature we are even when we are at our best and we furthermore all know how far we have to go in loving others like God loves them.
So Lord, please help us.
Help us to know that we can in fact grow every day toward greater maturity in the love that we show to the people around us, even to those who don’t love us.
Help us to know that, if we will submit ourselves to the working of your grace, love, and Spirit and to the intentional and determined following of Jesus Christ, we can make a little progress every day so that by the time we’re done—it just may happen—we may have just about made it.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)