Reckless Love

If you have not heard this song I highly recommend giving it a listen before continuing on with this article. Check it out on YouTube, or click the link below for iTunes.

[Added: My friend Matt Jones and I covered this song not long after I wrote this. Click to view on YouTube.]

This song is written by Cory Asbury, a worship artist acquainted with Bethel Music out of Redding, Ca. The praise for this song is met with equal, if not greater, disdain from believers. The title, which is obviously a derivative of a few lyrics in the song, can either make someone gush with affection for it or cringe with the belief of it being bad doctrine. I have decided to write my take on it because I find it quite sad that the body of Messiah ends up so divided about things misunderstood.

There will be bias from me in this article because I am a worship leader and because I love the song. Just a heads up.

What’s the argument?

For those who oppose the song, “reckless” is not how they picture the Love of God. Regardless of the rest of the biblical and relational lyrics of the song, for these people, it seems like getting past the word reckless is like trying to swallow a fistful of horse pills without any assistance from water. They just can’t seem to muster it. If we’re sticking strictly to biblical terms of the description of God’s love, reckless of course isn’t there as far as the use of exact terms go. So it’s understandable there is some adverse reaction. However, we must not forget that Jesus Himself said challenging things to His followers and the priests that they struggled with. Some things He said were to be heard/understood in the spirit and not necessarily in the natural, logical processes of the human mind.

Another thing I’ve heard regarding this song, and songs of the like, is that if you have to explain what it means it shouldn’t be played in church. I say, with a resounding British accent, POPPYCOCK! Again, Jesus spoke in parables that left many stumped and bewildered. So this is not a valid thing to say in comparison to the way of the Master.

Is “reckless” a good adjective for God’s love?

Context means everything when communicating and especially with the written word of God. Worship is no exception. Some responses to this song have been, “God isn’t some reckless, hooligan teenager!”

#Obvi #eyeroll

We all know recklessness can be a bad thing. No one would disagree with that. However, it can be good too, as when used in the context of this song.

To grasp the context of the use of reckless in this song, all the lyrics are important. The chorus goes as follows:

Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God

Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine

I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give yourself away

Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God

That second stanza, in my opinion, is the backbone of why the writer of this song is able to justify the use of the term reckless. This is biblical! It can be found in Matthew 18:12 and Luke 15:4. This is the epitome of reckless when used in the context of love. Love will make people do reckless things to save and protect their loved ones! The bridge of the song seals the context even further:

There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me

There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me

In other words, God is going to do whatever it takes to rescue us! He’s going to send plagues to Egypt! He’s going to split seas! He’s going to set mountain tops on fire! He’s going to lead us to lands to claim that are currently possessed by giants! He’s going to be with us in the lion’s den and the fiery furnace! He’s going to send His only Son to be sacrificed in hopes that even just one might be saved!

I can’t say that His actions are recklessly and irresponsibly committed because ultimately He’s God and the only one capable of doing what He does, and He is mighty to do it! He is precise with His action and knows exactly what He’s doing. But yet, contextually, it’s hard to find another term that adds up to the emotion of God’s actions. Reckless gets the point across of God’s willingness to hunt us down when we stray, or, as a good father would, put Himself in harm’s way to keep us from danger.

The difference between saying it and singing it.

If you were to just say, “God’s love is reckless”, it does tend to warrant a raised eyebrow or two. But it becomes inherently poetic when it’s sung in this song. It portrays valiance, strength, persistence, and fearlessness; the, “…anything it would take to get to my love!”, kind of recklessness.

If you still don’t see it the way it’s intended, please try not to argue with anyone who that song is ministering to. It’s not your place. As a worship leader, I have had to learn to never dismiss a song as “unanointed” because there is usually always someone it is ministering to.

Lastly, click here to watch a video that will hopefully show you why the original version truly does work in proving the nature of God’s love. God bless and enjoy.

-From Death To Life

2 thoughts on “Reckless Love

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