As a worship leader, I come across all sorts of songs that have different impacts on me. One song, in particular, has been teaching me new lessons nearly every time I hear it or sing it myself. The interesting thing about this song is the bit of debate or controversy if you will that it had stirred up.
The song is called “Reckless Love” and people in the faith community have problems with it for different reasons. Some of the lyrics could be confusing or misinterpreted by those who are singing worshiping along with it. But it’s all relative to where your heart and mind are at with God.
The bigger issue that people take with the song is the title itself. There are those who have a problem calling God’s love reckless. I guess they deem it a little “reckless” to do so. I’d like to share with you a take on this song and my interpretation of its meaning. But also along the way, I hope that you really just see the message that I am trying to share as it relates to our own versions of love and of course the love of God. First, let me share an excerpt of the lyrics that have been called into question.
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away.
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.
Reading those lyrics without the music behind them could be confusing. There is so much to learn here. So much to take in and digest in your heart. I would love to go line by line, word by word. Breaking it down and basically writing a sermon that would explain how this song’s message spills into my heart. But I want to focus on three things. The word reckless, the chase, and whether we deserve it.
So, what is reckless love? First, we should define reckless. Easy to do, I am using a device that will quickly provide that answer. Reckless is defined as “Marked by lack of proper caution: careless of consequences.”
Knowing that, how does it relate to God?
Also simple, God promised to love us without thought or requirement of return. He promised to forgive us, to never leave us, etc.
One could easily describe this behavior from another human as reckless or lacking caution. Why would we love someone who runs from us? Tears us down? Lies to us? Curses us? Denies us? Betrays us? Breaks promises made?
You getting the idea?
Do we love people like that? YES! we all do. We love our kids, spouses, friends, family, and significant others all just like that. If we don’t, we are doing it wrong. This concept has become more and more important to me as I personally try to heal and move on from things that I have gone through. That’s really what this blog is all about. I feel led to share my thoughts with anyone that wants to read them and I pray that the impact of my words will reach just one person that really needs it.
Keeping in mind that we kinda have a grasp on what reckless love is. Let’s focus on the chase for a minute. Think about your relationship with God. If you don’t have one, totally fine. Think about a personal relationship in your life and try to relate. I am going to focus on God for this explanation.
God came into my heart when I was very young and he has never left. But, throughout the years I have certainly left and or ran from him. I have never denied him. I have never cursed him. Nor have I ever asked him to leave. But I have turned my back from time to time with the idea that I was going to be better on my own. The point is, I have broken his heart on many occasions. I’ve failed many times over.
That is the beauty of this. God’s love is so pure and so deep and so promised and so unbreakable. That even in the depth of our deepest failures, even in the lengths and farthest distances that we try to run. He chases us down.
He makes us his priority. He leaves the ninety-nine and comes after us. Like a Shepherd runs after one lost sheep. He does this without fear of his own heart being broken again. He knows we will do it again. He cannot help himself. He will not break his promise to us.
If we could only try to love others just like that, our world and our lives would be so much brighter. It’s important to protect your heart. But I feel like in our attempt to do so, we sometimes miss out on a lot.
So continue chasing down the people that care about. Continue giving them what they need, which is love. They may not love you back. They will probably run from you. They will probably break your heart. But if you continue to show that love, you will impact them enough to at least help set a better course for their lives. You will also impact people that you don’t even know. Think of the next person that comes into their lives. Maybe your impact will be enough to teach them not to hurt that person. Kinda deep when you look at it that way.
Finally, do we deserve this? This kind of love that he gives us? The answer is very simple.
NO. We don’t deserve it, we could never earn it. But the beauty of my God and his promise is just that. It’s the truest example of promise. It’s promise perfected.
In an imperfect world, that’s the only perfection. God’s promise. In this life, I do believe that human to human, we deserve more love than a lot of us receive. We all just want to be loved. We all want someone to think of us at random times and send us a message, give us a call, plant a seed, encourage us, build us up, etc. If you don’t want that, you’re not being honest with yourself. God wants our love, he wants our attention, he wants our hearts. He wants all of us. He wants to love all of us. The good and the bad. But we didn’t earn that on our own merit or good deeds. We received it as a gift, for free and we can easily forget that. Think of the best and most special gift you’ve ever received. God’s love is better and far more special. Remember that and work hard towards sharing it with the people you care about. Emulate that love even for those who may not deserve it. Even for those that may not have earned it.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Be blessed today. Remember that I promise to love you, even recklessly because that’s how my God loves me. I can only hope to emulate his love for me the best that I can.