Recently we sang a new song at our church titled “Reckless Love”1. It is also getting a lot of air-time on various Christian radio streams that I have been listening to with radio announcers exclaiming how much they love the song. However, as we went through that song for the first time, something about the word “reckless” didn’t sit right with me. Being a writer, words to me are more than mere dictionary meanings. They are symbols: they convey emotions, they create understanding, they express reality. I couldn’t quite understand why the word “reckless” applied to God’s amazing love would stick in my craw. So, I went looking.
Perhaps I misunderstood the denotation of “reckless”, so I looked it up in several dictionaries. “Reckless” means, “marked by lack of proper caution, careless of consequences, irresponsible”2 or “heedless, mindless”3. Even a brief study of Scripture makes it clear that these adjectives do not describe God’s love in the least. How can a love that chose its objects before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-6) be considered irresponsible, heedless or mindless? How can a love that looks through the ages and sees the failures and costs of realizing that love and chooses to pay them anyway (Rev. 13:8 – NIV) be careless of consequences? And how can love that plans (Eph. 1:9-10) be considered not having proper caution? God’s love is none of these!
Better words to describe God’s love are “lavish”, “astounding”, “amazing”, “wonderful”4. It is truly a “mindful” love, and even “calculating” (though that word feels cold). God is leading me to ponder the concept of love more these days and I cannot seem to wrap my mind around it. Truly, divine wisdom is necessary to “comprehend … what is the length, width, height and depth of God’s love and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:18-19 – HCSB). And in listening to this song, the word I think the authors were really looking for is “lavish”. So, let us bask in that lavish, astounding, wonderful, contra-conditional, ever-giving love.
Image Credit: Forgiven Photography | Lightstock
- 1. Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, Ran Jackson and Jon Thurlow, “Reckless Love”, Reckless Love (Bethel Music, 2017)
- 2. “Reckless”, Merriam-Webster.com < https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reckless > (accessed 2018-05-28). See also “Reckless”, The Free Dictionary by Farlex < https://www.thefreedictionary.com/reckless > (accessed 2018-05-28).
- 3. “Reckless”, Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), e-Sword edition.
- 4. In the meaning of “exciting wonder, marvelous, astonishing”. See here, “Wonderful”, Merriam-Webster.com < https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wonderful > (accessed 2018-05-28).