Song Spotlight: Reckless Love

In my last music post, we looked at Chris Tomlin’s new song “Resurrection Power”. Hopefully that was encouraging and uplifting for you. If you missed that post, go back and read it if you’d like.

This time, I thought I would go over a song that…well…didn’t make the cut and explain why. Is every song perfect? No. But this song was just voted “Worship Song of the Year”. So, I thought I would explain why we are not singing the most popular song in the American Church today.

DISCLAIMER 1: I think this is a really good (and catchy) song.
DISCLAIMER 2: I am going to analyze the lyrics in a different order than what they are sung in the song.
DISCLAIMER 3: Analysis and opinions on this song are varied (and fiery). It has even gotten people kicked out of online worship leader support groups because it became so heated.

As in my last post, I will place my thoughts under each line of the song. This song has been out for a while, so I have had quite a bit of time to consider (and discuss) this with people.

Verse 1

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
(Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you”)

You have been so, so good to me
(Psalm 34 - O taste and see that the Lord is good!!!)

Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
(Genesis 2:7 – God formed the man from dust and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and man became a living being.)

You have been so, so kind to me
(Titus 3 – “But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us…”)

Verse 2

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
(Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”)

You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
(1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”)
You have been so, so kind to me

Bridge

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

(Given that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”, I think it is fair to say that He has already gone to the greatest lengths to redeem us. Mountains, walls, etc. are nothing for him.)

Okay. Now let me pause here. Because we have just covered 75% of this song and I have basically given you Scripture for every single line. That is a VERY good thing. I love every word I’ve read so far. So, let me give you an instant replay of me listening to this song when it gets to the chorus:

On to the Chorus…

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
(yes…yes…wait…what?)
Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine
(Yes…yes…yes…)
I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
(AMEN…AMEN…YESSSS!)
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
(yes…yes…wait…what? He said it again!!!)

As a Worship Pastor, I take my role very seriously. I realize the power of song. We use it to teach our children Scripture. You are much more likely to get a song stuck in your head than a Bible verse. With this in mind, I strive to choose music that will get TRUTH stuck in your head. (Granted, not all modern Christian music is deep truth.)

On my conscience, I cannot have someone walk out of my church singing that God’s love is reckless. God is love. So, that means God is reckless. That is an un-truth.

In Scripture, we get a few glimpses of human emotion/traits being expressed by God in a holy manner. For example, He is a "jealous" God and is perfectly jealous because He actually DOES deserve something (He deserves everything good actually). WE are jealous when we THINK we deserve something. Also, He shows "anger" perfectly. We show anger and it causes us to sin. These perfect manifestations have been revealed to us in His Word.

Scripture, however, only speaks of "recklessness" in a negative, sinful manner:

Judges 9:4 - And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him.

Proverbs 14:16 - One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

Prodigal Son - Luke 15:13 - Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.

2 Tim 3:1-5 – But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

I don’t see any of those characteristics in 2nd Timothy being something I wish to twist into a characteristic of God. We must be very cautious when we begin to ascribe fallen human characteristics to God.

Rather than spending time trying to figure out if or how God could possibly be considered reckless, let’s focus on His attributes that have been clearly revealed to us in Scripture: the triune, self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, infinite, immutable, omniscient, all-wise, all-powerful, ever-present, transcendent, faithful, good, just, merciful, loving, holy, sovereign God.

Once you wrap your brains around all of that (check out A.W. Tozer’s “Knowledge of the Holy” for help with that task), then we can see if you still want to discuss if God is reckless. Until then, enjoy whichever of these songs catch your ear:

The Power of "I AM"

Remembering Can Improve Your Life