As I have said before, the term perfect often frightens people. To make this word less frightening, I would like to use a simple example from mathematics.
Let’s take the use of the word round. There is only one standard for round. Something is either round or not round. If something is round, it is a circle. There is just one kind of circle; there are not three or four different kinds of circles. However, there are many different sizes of circles.
God the Father is the great circle, the measureless round ring that encompasses the whole universe. Jesus does not expect us to have the same magnitude as God, but He does expect us to have the same character as God. You and I may be very tiny circles—operating in some small areas where God has placed us with apparently trivial, humdrum duties. But, for each of us in our own little area, God wants us to be a perfect circle. Perfectly round. Just as round as that “great circle,” God the Father, who encompasses the whole universe.
So, when you read Jesus’ command to “be perfect” (Matthew 5:48), think of it in terms of being “round.” Don’t be lopsided, having little bulges. Don’t have deficiencies. You may not be very big, but you can be a perfect circle.