Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
This is really what it all comes down to. It’s not going by what evil man does or what the world says or what we think sounds right. It is acting like God would act. It is about becoming like Him, doing things how He would, treating others how He treats us. It is about following His way, not the corrupted path of evil. Jesus had shown in His sermon what was typical for men to do, common behavior of the people of the day, common thinking and practice. But then He switches it around and shows a new way, a better way, a truly God-honoring way to live beyond the typical and ordinary but not so outrageous that it can’t be done.
This is what the law was supposed to produce—people living this way, making these choices, having this heart and these reactions and responses to the behavior of others. Jesus had shown first how wrong we are with our perception of sin and what we’ve heard and what we’ve been trying to do, and then He exposes the true root of the law. The heart of it is a standard to live by that demonstrates the character of a holy and righteous God. That’s what it had always been about, even if that got lost somewhere along the way.
So now that we’ve heard Jesus’ way, will we listen to Him? Will we follow His example and act like He does and treat others how He does? It’s a total shift in perspective and the way we conduct our lives, so are we willing to grow? Are we willing to be stretched and to step out in obedience in challenging ways? Will we make a commitment to holiness and righteousness that may take us out of our comfort zone? We can’t ignore the truth in our hearts, but let’s acknowledge those sinful tendencies within us and break out of them toward what God wants for us.
Because this is how we shine. These are the kinds of good works that people notice. And these things mirror who God is and how He acts, and so when we do the same things, that glorifies God. And when we are conformed to His image, we bring Him glory by demonstrating who He is to the world around us in a visible way they can’t deny. So let’s be like God. Let’s follow His standards and His ways and refuse to compromise. Let’s not be satisfied with partial obedience, but adopt a strict adherence to what God expects of us. Let’s leave behind those old ways of thinking and go forward into living truly righteous lives that please our Father.