What’s Up with Reckless Love?

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By Christy Hoagland

Reckless Love? What does that mean? Why? How? Huh? Who? Whutty?

I have tried to wrap my head around one of the hottest new worship songs out right now.  The song ‘Reckless Love’ by Cory Asbury is everywhere or nowhere it seems.  Do people really love it or hate it?  Is it the “sloppy wet kiss” controversy all over again?  Well, agree or disagree…here are my thoughts.

Definition(s):

Dictionary.com –

adjective: reckless
  1. (of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.
    “reckless driving”
    synonyms: rashcarelessthoughtlessheedlessunheedinghasty, overhasty, precipitateprecipitousimpetuousimpulsivedaredevildevil-may-care;

    irresponsiblefoolhardyaudaciousoveradventurous;
    ill-advisedinjudiciousmadcapimprudentunwiseill-considered;
    informalkamikaze;
    literarytemerarious
    “reckless driving”

Merriam-Webster –

Definition of Reckless 

1marked by lack of proper caution careless of consequences

And just for kicks….

Urban Dictionary –

-1 a person whos actions are putting the people around him in harms way

2- acting very stupid

3- in a state of dangerous stupidity

 

We can throw out some of those…but can we all agree that basically being reckless means not caring about the consequences?

The first and last line of the chorus: “Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God”

Overwhelming – very great in amount, very strong.

Never-ending – (I know this isn’t necessary) endless.

I think both overwhelming and never-ending are proper descriptive words for God’s love.  I just don’t think reckless quite fits.  Now before you freak out, let’s look at Cory’s reasoning behind using the word reckless.

“Many have asked me for clarity on the phrase, “reckless love”. Many have wondered why I’d use a “negative” word to describe God. I’ve taken some time to write out my thoughts here. I hope it brings answers to your questions. But more than that, I hope it brings you into an encounter with the wildness of His love.

When I use the phrase, “the reckless love of God”, I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn’t crafty or slick. It’s not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it’s quite childlike, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return.

His love leaves the ninety-nine to find the one every time. To many practical adults, that’s a foolish concept. “But what if he loses the ninety-nine in search of the one?” What if? Finding that one lost sheep is, and will always be, supremely important.

His love isn’t cautious. No, it’s a love that sent His Own Son to die a gruesome death on a cross. There’s no “Plan B” with the love of God. He gives His heart so completely, so preposterously, that if refused, most would consider it irreparably broken. Yet He gives Himself away again. The recklessness of His love is seen most clearly in this – it gets Him hurt over and over. Make no mistake, our sin pains His heart. And “70 times 7” is a lot of times to have Your heart broken. Yet He opens up and allows us in every time. His love saw you when you hated Him – when all logic said, “They’ll reject me”, He said, “I don’t care if it kills me. I’m laying My heart on the line.”

To get personal, His love saw me, a broken down kid with regret as deep as the ocean; My innocence and youth poured out like water. Yet, He saw fit to use me for His kingdom because He’s just that kind. I didn’t earn it and I sure as heck don’t deserve it, but He’s just that good. Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.” – Cory Asbury (Facebook post – June 14, 2017)

If you are a songwriter declaring who God is then your lyrics are so important.  Many have asked for clarity…ok? Does this mean if I lead this song at my church or other venue then I need to give an explanation every time because the lyrics aren’t clear? Eh…

I appreciate Cory sharing his heart and I really do love so much of this song but I don’t think you can separate God from His love.  I don’t think we can say or sing that God’s love is reckless but God Himself isn’t reckless… because His Word says that God is Love!  So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 esv Actually, just read all of 1 John 4…so good! Perfect love!  How about John 3:16, Galatians 2:20?  I believe that God is Perfect, Sovereign, Holy, and completely in control; He knows exactly what He is doing, He knew exactly what the cost was when He came to die for us.  I think our “humanness” makes us see this as reckless.  And I think too many of our worship songs today try to humanize God and we just don’t sing enough about His Holiness.  And perhaps that’s partly because we can’t even begin to understand all the miraculous and marvelous things about God, His grace, His forgiveness, and His perfect love for us.

So…sing reckless love or not, I won’t condemn you 😉  I’m planning on leading it this Friday night in prison but I’m going to change one word…to Perfect.

Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, perfect love of God

And you know what else?  I think I’d like my love for Jesus to be reckless…”careless of consequences”, I believe this is what He’s called us to and it still doesn’t begin to compare with how He loves us. Oh how He loves us…

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