The teachings of Jesus are so very practical. Matt 5:43-48 defines for us what spiritual maturity looks like.
Matt 5:43"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.'
44"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45so 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?
48"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus is calling us to love our enemies. This teaches us to give and serve and bless those who are not giving and serving and blessing us. The actions of these people, our adversaries, make us less secure and less at peace, and, yet, we are to assist and to help secure their peace and well-being. Secondly, we are to pray for those who persecute us. For me, this command has proven to be ultra-practical. This command tells us that if another person is harming our reputation, we are to act to bless their reputation. So if, for example, a person at work goes to our boss and maligns us, we, the Christian, are to resolve in our heart, through prayer, to only say positive things about this person. This act of surrender is the way of peace. We surrender to God’s will and resolve to speak highly of everyone. We are to never speak ill of anyone. This is our goal and here in lies the path to conscious contact with God.