In Cory Asbury’s song, “Reckless Love,” he sings a phrase: “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.” What does that mean? How can “reckless” and “God” be in the same sentence?
Because God’s love is unconditional. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even when it doesn’t add up. Even when we don’t understand it. Even when we don’t agree with it, God loves.
There are very few reckless Christians. We have Christianity tightly wrapped up with a bow of self-defined holiness. We talk about salvation being a gift of God, but we seldom share the gift with the really bad sinners. We don’t believe in recklessness.
We talk about the love of God, but we withhold our love while claiming to represent Him. We talk about grace, forgiveness, redemption, and discipleship. However, most of us have no plans to do any of these Godly things because our hands just might get dirty. Worse, yet, what will people think? How can we dare associate ourselves with sinners? Ask Jesus. (Please read Luke 15:1-2.)
Three examples come to mind:
The Christian mother who disowned her teenage son and threw him out of the house because his girlfriend got pregnant and got an abortion. The mother’s “holiness” wouldn’t allow her to look at him without seeing the stain of sin. She instantly emailed all of her “holy” friends to share what had happened and how heartbroken she was that her grandbaby had been aborted. A few reckless Christians asked the mother if she could forgive the kids and embrace their mistakes? Her response was to block those Christians. They weren’t holy enough to see through her holy eyes. To this day, she doesn’t speak to the ones who stood up for the kids. It was almost 15 years ago. I guess, like her son and his young girlfriend, we weren’t holy enough for her.
The pastor who discovers his son is gay. His heart is broken. His anger swells. He throws his kid out of the house and doesn’t dare share with the church that his son is a sinner. The pastor preaches every Sunday about grace and forgiveness. The pastor calls sinners to the altar, but his son goes unchurched and untouched by his own family because the pastor sees his son as the worst of sinners.
The kid in the youth group that is too active, too rambunctious, not focused enough. The youth leaders constantly correct the kid until, in exasperation, they excommunicate him. They believe that one rotten apple will destroy the experience for all the other focused kids. What could happen if one youth leader focused their attention on the troubled kid instead of rejecting him and tossing him aside? Many pastors, youth leaders, and Christian musicians have testimonies that begin with, “I was the worse kid in the youth group…”
Want to understand why the word, “reckless,” was used to describe God in Cory Asbury’s song? Try loving everyone unconditionally. Try that and you will understand what it means to be reckless. In doing so, we reflect God’s reckless love. We take the chance. We share the gift with others allowing them to unwrap it when they are ready. We stop defining holiness and instead mimic it.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
NOTE: To hear the song in its entirety, click here.