Be Perfect Like God 


Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21)

St Basil of Caesarea comments on what it takes to be perfect like God:

‘Become perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’ [Matthew 5: 48, author’s translation]. Do you see how the Lord restores to us that which is according to the likeness? ‘For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust‘ [Matthew 5:45 RSV].


If you become a hater of evil, free of rancor, not remembering yesterday’s enmity; if you become brother-loving and compassionate, you are like God. If you forgive your enemy from your heart, you are like God. If as God is toward you, the sinner, you become the same toward the brother who has wronged you, by your goodwill from your heart towards your neighbor, you are like God. As you have that which is according to the image through your being rational, you come to be according to the likeness by undertaking kindness. Take on yourself ‘a heart of compassion, kindness,’ that you may put on Christ.  (Nonna Harrison, GOD’S MANY-SPLENDORED IMAGE, pp 68-69)