So a few weeks back Austin helped lead us in a new worship song that we hadn't done before. It had a line in it about how God has a "reckless love" for us. Not sure if you remember that or not. He had asked me beforehand about it and mentioned that there were some folks online that don't like that lyric and he explained a bit more about this issue. Okay so I like the song, can I tell you why?
To start let me tell you why I agree with the folks who don't think that we should describe God's love for us as "reckless." They would say that God does not do anything recklessly. He doesn't do anything without proper concern and in order. I totally agree. I think though that they miss the point here and here's why: when we say that God loves us recklessly we are doing that because we say that he is lavishing incredible love on us in a way that almost seems reckless. It can seem reckless, or even foolish, to those that don't know about the love of God because what is amazing about God's love is that he gives it to those even when he knows that they won't respond in like fashion. I see why you could call that reckless.
It reminds me a tiny bit of a book that Tim Keller wrote several years back called, "Prodigal God." The term prodigal normally connotes ideas of somebody who was gone for a long time but now they are back. But originally that was not the definition. The original definition of prodigal is lavish spender, and at times a wasteful spender. So the guy in Luke 15 is called a prodigal originally because he was a lavish spender. He spent all that he had and then had to come home. So you get used to calling him the prodigal son and you know what happens? You forget why he's called prodigal and you just assume it's because he was gone for a long time. Ok - enough about the drift of definitions. Here's why I bring up the book, "Prodigal God." In it, TK uses a word that could reflect negatively on God if you didn't understand the whole meaning of what he is trying to communicate and I think that it's the same thing happening with this worship song talking about God's reckless love.