Be perfect, therefore, as your
heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 NIV
According to Webster’s Dictionary, Utopia is an idealized place or situation of perfection. Several years ago my husband and a few of his friends took a 270 mile round-trip motorcycle ride. On their way home they detoured and found themselves in a small town called Utopia; trapped in a church parking lot while waiting on a parade occupying the only route through town.
As he related these events to me, I thought about God’s Word in Matthew 5:48. While giving his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about loving our enemies and described how even the non-believer is able to love those who love him. But to be like the Father we must do more than that. We must pray for our enemies and love those who do not love us. In this we must be perfect.
Have you ever felt trapped in a situation that, at first, appeared ideal? Have you wanted to move away from a situation but found the only apparent escape blocked by an unbreakable brick wall predicament? Have you tried to love someone who behaved unlovely to you?
Unlike the dictionary definition of Utopia, God’s love is not an idealized perfection. It is perfect. His Word does not make a request to be perfect if we want to or if we feel like it. It is a command; be perfect. You might say, “I can’t.” You are correct. But God never requires of you and me something that He is not able to accomplish in and through each of us.
We are made perfect only when we believe in the Christ of John 3:16, for only then does God the Father see us through the blood of His One and Only Begotten Son. Only then does the idealized perfection called Utopia become less attractive as the reality of the love of God covers us. Only then will our love abound to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11.)
Therefore, it is in the complete giving of our heart to Christ that we may live in the reality of God’s love. Then an earthly idealized place or situation becomes less alluring and the reality of living in the love of Christ becomes our place of perfection.