Sometimes we find spiritual truths in the most unlikely places. As Christian philosopher Arthur F. Holmes puts it, “All Truth is God’s Truth.” And such was the case with my recent viewing of Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure.
When Katherine and I sat down last week for a movie night, I had no idea that God was going to remind me of something. Something so very central to our collective Christian life.
In Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure, our two bumbling “heroes” ride a telephone booth time machine through history, gathering up key historic figures for an oral report and reminding people to “be excellent to each other”. And at first pass, their catch phrase seems like nothing but moronic drivel. But a deeper look reveals that’s not the case – this is exactly the kind of thing that Jesus told us to do.
Be Excellent to Each Other
In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus tells us that the two primary commands on which hang all of the law and the writings of the prophets are to Love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor(s) as ourselves. And again in Luke, Jesus confirms that these two commands are primary above all others.
In other words, be excellent to each other.
This love that he talks about is described in the first Epistle to the Corinthians. There we learn that it is more than just feeling good about each other or forgiving one another – though those are wonderful things. But true love seeks the very best for the other person. True love doesn’t delight in what is wrong but delights in what is right. True love doesn’t look after its own interests and isn’t self-seeking. Rather, it protects, hopes, perseveres, and trusts.
To say it another way, love passionately pursues the very best. All of the time. Every time. At any expense.
To sum up – be excellent to each other.