Being Perfect

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”. Lewis connection follows:

"Scripture: “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt: 5, 48)


"To be perfect means to see in life first of all the Kingdom of God and His truth – to act, understand and think in such a way that the Kingdom of Heaven inside us can freely grow and develop, so that the corroding breath of vice and sin not touch us, and so that the Kingdom not be extinguished among endless earthly cares. This is what the soul must primarily strive for: not for riches, not for glory, not for one’s advantage, not for pleasure, but to emulate our Heavenly Father.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…because the pagans seek all these things” (Matt: 6: 25, 32). This is what distinguishes us, children of God, from others. We are now sons of God, and therefore, citizens of a different, heavenly city, with a firm foundation. Having been born again, we think about “the things above, not the things of the earth” (Phil: 3, 20), – the aim of our life and what we strive for has completely changed.

" ‘Our dwelling is in heaven’ (Phil: 3,20), we are citizens of the heavenly home, subject to its laws, and have the right to its benefits. We live not only with the promises of future blessings, but are even now free members of the Heavenly Kingdom. As such, we hold high the banner of our King and place before Him all our fervor and all our love.

"For us our Father’s Kingdom contains all the glory, all the value and all the delight which others seek in the earthly life. If we were to seek first of all His truth and submit everything to His law, how the faith in Him would increase around us! Faith in the afterlife would become easier if all our deeds and thoughts were directed to the Heavenly Kingdom.

"So holiness consists in total wellbeing of the spirit. And what is total wellbeing? Everything that we live by and breathe, everything we ask of God, must come from us unto others.

"Christ is our life – having accepted Him, we must bring Him everywhere – into our family, into our work, into our thoughts, into our desires, words and actions. Everything that we live by must be filled with Him. This is what holiness and perfection consists of.

“If we hold back the wave of grace which carries Christ Himself into our soul, our soul will become ill and wither. If we end this inflowing, the illness will end in death.”

Lewis devotes all of chapter 9, Book 4 of “Mere Christianity” to his thoughts about what Christ meant by telling us to be “perfect”. This is from paragraph 4 of that chapter:

" ‘Make no mistake" [Christ] says, "if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other, than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect – until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.’ "


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)