My mission, given to me by God, is to love. In order to love, I need to learn how to forgive. It is essential. It is a principle of life given to me by Jesus. Jesus is clear. That is no equivocating at all. There is not getting around it.
What is my standard for how I should act in this regard? My standard is God. I am to be perfect [mature] in this just as God is. God loves us and forgives us. Jesus made that happen. I am to do the same.
The word perfect in Matthew 5:48 does not imply sinlessly perfect, for that is impossible in this life (though it is a good goal to strive for). It suggests completeness, maturity, as the sons of God. The Father loves His enemies and seeks to make them His children, and we should assist Him!
- Luke 6:37 (NASB) — “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”
- Matthew 5:38–48 — “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. “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 causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect [mature], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 24–25). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.