How can we be perfect like our heavenly Father?

“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

This can be a difficult pill for many of us to swallow – how could we possibly be perfect like God? It’s an impossible task, a hopeless goal. Father Dave Heney breaks down the meaning behind this scripture verse and how we can live up to the ideal.

“It’s a beautiful word, perfect, but it is really an unfortunate translation of the ancient Greek language. Perfect is a good word, I’m not saying it’s a terrible word, but when the verse says be perfect, the fuller translation is to be complete, to be whole, to have the true understanding of a situation,” says Fr. Dave. “Now, God is perfect; God is truth; God is perfect truth. So that’s what it means for God to be perfect—He is pure truth. ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life,’ as He says.”

“Now what is the truth about ourselves? Well, we’re not entirely good—there are parts of us that are good and parts of us that are not good. So, the truth about ourselves is a mixed bag. The truth about God is that He is all good,” explains Fr. Dave. “So, for us to be perfect is to recognize the truth about ourselves, to know what part is saintly and what part is sinful, what part is good and what part is not.”

Recognizing our faults and shortcomings takes humility. “The old definition of humility is truth. We are perfect when we understand, when we see, when we recognize and acknowledge the whole truth about ourselves. We’re not pretending that we’re all good and we’re not unfairly considering ourselves all bad.”

“It is the truth that sets us free and it is that true picture of ourselves that is that meaning of the word perfect. So, if you want to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect, see the truth about yourself.”

Listen to the full podcast here:

The Joe Sikorra Show, December 19, 2017 – Hour 1

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.