**Reckless Love. **
It's become a popular song in the few years since its release.
I have heard some of my fellow Christians have a dislike for it, feeling like it focuses too much on ourselves. My goal in writing this is not to endorse or defame the song. The song and the discussion surrounding it are simply prompting me to examine Jesus's words more closely.
Some of the parables that the song refers to are found in Luke chapter 15. Jesus was illustrating how much God loves and rejoices over sinners who come to Him in repentance. God is like a generous Father, a diligent housewife, and a brave, hard-working shepherd. God loves His creation (us!) so much that He went to the ultimate length to reconcile us with Himself. He gave up His life only to take it up again so that we also can have resurrection life, instead of having to be separated from Him forever because of our sin.
There are a couple reasons conflicts can come about over this message of love.
First, some people have a hard time accepting that God loves them so much. They might say they believe it if directly asked but deep down they might still be wrestling with the great miracle of God's love. (Don't we all to some extent?)
Second, there's two opposite responses humans have once they accept God’s love. Let me use a cute illustration. (As a disclaimer, I did NOT come up with this. This is from Cat and Dog Theology by Bob S. catanddogtheology.com ) So, cats and dogs have two very different responses to humans loving them. A cat thinks, "You love me, you feed me, I must be god!" A dog thinks, "You love me, you feed me, you must be god!" Christians often respond one of these two ways to God.
I believe some people dislike an overemphasis on, what this song terms, the "reckless love" of God, because the nature of sinful people is to get selfish. We start thinking we are so worthy and important and can even play "god" in our lives.
But this is what Jesus says about His love...
14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.
Jesus's incredible love for us is something we are privileged and obligated display in a tangible way to others. It's not something we get to hog all to ourselves. And Jesus makes it clear that we don't get to excuse ourselves out of loving people and serving others.
Jesus also said "love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39)
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the sake of the gospel's will save it." (Mark 8:35)
18 “If the world hates you, [e]you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also."
Jesus is giving us realistic expectation for life.
Both the abundant, faithful, never-ending love of God and the importance of us laying down our earthly, temporary existence so that we can guide more people to follow Jesus - both are true and vital to a healthy Christian life. Let's not value one truth over the other. Let's not strive to earn God's love, nor ignore the other beloved children of God, those who are found and those who are lost.
In God's deep heart, He intensely loves everyone. Becoming selfish is the wrong response to this love. But, becoming determined to spread the joy of God's love in humility IS the right response.
So, as relates to the song "Reckless Love", let's remember that a song does not have to encompass the entire gospel narrative to be a song of worship to God or praise about Him. At the same time, I do question whether "reckless" really is the right term to use to describe God's love. Reckless usually carries a negative, careless connotation to it. God deeply cares and is thoughtful about everything He does. However, He did give us Himself, through His son, to show us His great love. He didn't care how much the sacrifice costed Him; it was worth it to Him. I know the writer of the song intends "reckless" to be thought of in this way. So, let's not judge another man's song but let's rejoice in what God has done for us.