- Perfection Is to Love as God Loves
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
“God’s love is unconditional. It would be wonderful to have a world where everybody loves each other. As a doctor we have to procure health unconditionally, it trains us to love people independently of the person.”
“In order to love people unconditionally, we have to be in perfect unity with God. It is difficult to love unconditionally murderers. Although, if we understand what conditions they probably had to face in life or how they were treated and these conditions made them the way they are, we can feel compassion. For God, he will not condemn criminals to death, he gave us the commandment not to kill people.”
God says, “Resemble me; just as I repay good for evil so do you also repay good for evil.”
Exodus Rabbah 26.2 (Judaism)
“Why in Israel can’t people follow this? The problem often is that people interpret the passages the way they want.”
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows
God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love… God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4.7-8, 16
That devotee who looks upon friend and foe with equal regard, who is not buoyed up by praise nor cast down by blame, alike in heat and cold, pleasure and pain, free from selfish attachments,
the same in honor and dishonor, quiet, ever full, in harmony everywhere, firm in faith—such a one is dear to me.
Bhagavad-Gita 12.18-19 (Hinduism)
“For God, a person who can be unconditional towards his enemies and blame from others is precious to Him.”
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
Be universal in your love. You will see the universe to be the picture of your own being. Complete and total perfection will come about only when we feel that our perfection is not perfection as long as the rest of humanity remains imperfect. If we call ourselves children of God, then others are also children of God. If we do not share with them what little we have, then what right have we to call them our brothers? They may be traveling a few miles behind us, or they may be fast asleep. But they must reach the Goal before perfect perfection can dawn on earth.
Sri Chinmoy (Hinduism)
Teachings of Sun Myung Moon
Love is the standard for perfect character. Character is perfected through the infinite and absolute love of God. (33:79, August 9, 1970)
“Here we talk about the perfection of the character, not of the knowledge or the capacities.”
To pioneer this path, Jesus emphasized love as never before in history. He taught that we must overcome every difficult situation with patience. He stressed that we must be more faithful to God’s Will than sinners are committed to doing evil. These are the fundamental points of what Christians call the nine fruits of the Spirit. From a life of love arises joy, happiness, and peace. From patience arises mercy and goodness. From a life of faithfulness arises humility and gentleness.
Jesus emphasized the love of heaven, the patience of heaven, and the faithfulness of heaven to remove the evil elements from human beings dwelling in the fallen world. Through this practical philosophy, we can be elevated to the heavenly way of life. Nevertheless, does Christ’s love exist in your hearts today? (2:345, August 4, 1957)
“The love of God is in all of us inside. We need though to open our hearts and develop the seed of the love.”
“Sun Myung Moon talks about Jesus as the teacher of love. Jesus’ deepest teaching he gave was about love.”
What makes God true? God likes both good and bad people on earth. Don’t even condemned
criminals cry out, “Oh God, have mercy on me! I love you!” just before their execution? Why would a condemned man pledge to God with a good and sincere heart, hoping for a new start? Why does he yearn to grasp God fully, trust Him, try to be with Him, and share with Him his feelings and difficulties more than he would with his parents or brothers and sisters? It is because God is true.
A true person, then, loves not only those whom he likes, but also the enemies who are trying to kill him. He should be a person whom we can trust fully, with whom we want to share all our problems and through whom we can wish for everything.
Is a person who hates someone a true person or a false person? Definitely, he is a false person. Then, are most people in this world true people or false people? They are false people.
To be a true person, you must be true in all dimensions. If you members love the people who love me and hate the people who hate me, are you good members or bad members? You are bad members.
Therefore, I am teaching you to love those who hate you. If you love them, sooner or later they will come to like you. If you return good three times for every time someone does you wrong, eventually that person will bow his head. Try it yourself and see if I am right or not. Everyone has a conscience. (39:302-04, January 16, 1971)
“Many people don’t have the courage, patience and will to try to love their enemies. It also happens often that couples don’t try to love the other if something doesn’t go the way they would like to and end up in separation.”
Is God’s love so deeply rooted in your minds that you cannot pull out no matter how hard you try? Can you say, “I am completely bound by God’s love; I cannot do whatever my body wants to do. Since God’s love is rooted so deeply in my body, I cannot live any way I like. I cannot live without centering on God’s love. When I eat, I eat with God’s love. Whatever I do, both my mind and body are centered on God’s love”? Is it that way for you? (140:24-25, February 1, 1986)
“If you’re united with God, you won’t feel the lack of love. We can develop ourselves during the physical life to become wiser and have a deeper heart.
Written by Noëmie Komagata-Nguyen