“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:46-48 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/mat.5.47.NET
I am so far from perfect. If perfect, in this context, is loving people as God loves people, I am immensely imperfect. I don’t greet those I don’t know or don’t like unless I have to to avoid an awkward situation. Why do I not like anyone? Why do I not care more about everyone? The sun shines upon all people, good or bad, even as the rain falls upon everyone outside. God gave the worst people in the world days of sunshine and joy, not because they deserved it but because He loves everyone and desires everyone to experience His goodness, so seek Him for reconciliation. Those who know Him and claim to be children of God, like me, should be most like Him in loving people, especially unlovely people. We all were unlovely when Jesus left heaven to come to earth to sacrifice Himself as our Savior. We all treated Him wickedly when God lived among us as one of us in Jesus the Savior. Most of the world continues to disobey God, ignore His commands, and disregard His authority. Yet God loves. Yet God is kind, always. This is His command for me and all those who love Him: love our neighbor as ourselves. Treat others as we want to be treated. Forgive everyone and be kind to all. Simple to understand, so hard for me to do, though I experience so much of God’s kindness, love, and mercy daily.