When people see the word PERFECT, all synapses try to escape that thought at top speed. The word causes cataclysmic failure. Any hopes of taking an objective look at the verse flies out the window, because the way we use the word "perfect", in today's English, is unattainable. So, it's important to take a look at the word as it was spoken, not defining it by it's interpretative word, but by the gut feeling a person at the time would have when they heard it at the time it was written/spoken. If you study the etymology of the word, you'll see in 1611 it meant differently than we see it today. In English it simply meant, finished, complete, mature, that sort of flavor. A boat was perfect when it would float, hold the fish, and operate correctly, if it was half painted, scratched, holes in it, whatever. As long as it did it's job, it was perfect. Today, it has a Utopian flavor to it, which makes the word unreasonable to attain. Thus people freak out when they find it in a verse. Since the Bible is mostly discussing personal lives, and not boats, let's substitute the word mature, for perfect. A "finished" person would be mature in every sense of the word, right? So the following verse catches much grief in the exegetical world. From people adding words, or claiming, "that's what it says but not what it means(?)", etc... Matt 5:48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. What on earth does it mean? The most common answer is we are to "strive" to be perfect. And, absolutely we are to strive in that way, Romans 6 is full of examples of that striving. This verse doesn't have strive in it. Not in English, Greek, nor context will you find a way to add "strive" to the sentence. I find it inherently wrong, to go adding words to make the verse fit into what I thought before reading it. Scripture is to change me, not me change scripture. So, what IS it meaning then. Context.... 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 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. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Christ says love our enemies and pray for their well being. That is a requirement to be sons of the Father in Heaven. His example is providing sun for evil and good, rain too. Those are examples, not the only things that are provided. Anyone can love the folks nice to you. So, love as completely as God does, even to loving his/your enemies, and providing for them. That concept of providing, is inherent in the word Agapao. The demonstration/action/work/charity aspect of Agapao can't be seperated without making you use a different word. Agapao always has actionable demonstrations. The sheep fed the hungry, clothed the poor, etc.. their love was acted upon. The goats didn't do it. They didn't go forward, they were not sons, they lacked the type of love that Jesus describes here. Be perfect like God is perfect, is referring to how you are to love your neighbors. And neighbors includes everyone not just your friends and church friends. Hope this helps someone digest this verse.