A listener recently wrote us with a concern that he had for one of the songs we play on KCBI called “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury. His concern had to do with the word “reckless” considering that the definition of the word in the dictionary means:
“(of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.”
So when describing God, is that really the word that should be describing his love for us? Well even if the word may mean that Cory Asbury when explaining the song said this about why he chose that word:
“I feel like this song is a culmination of the latter half of my life. So much goes into it and a lot of it has to do with my family, my own upbringing with my own dad. I think “Reckless Love” is a song about the Father’s love, and I think so many of us, especially in this generation are so unfamiliar with the Father’s love because we had so many skewed ideas of what He’s like because of what our own dads were like.
I know so many people, myself included, who grew up with a dad who wasn’t perfect, to put it lightly. And because my dad wasn’t perfect, I viewed God through the lens of my own dad. And I felt many times that God was angry or upset or disappointed in me. I felt I was always letting Him down.
And toward the latter part of my life, maybe the last five or six years, it’s kind of been a spin. It feels like I began to ask specific questions of the Father. Like, ‘What are You actually like? I’ve grown up with a picture that’s probably pretty off. So could you show me what You’re actually like? The Bible tells me that you’re kind and you’re tender and you’re good. And some of the things I’ve seen in the world in my own experience is they disagree with that idea. So I need you to reconcile that idea to my heart, basically.’
I think a big part of that reconciliation is when our son was born about eight years ago, his name is Gabriel, he’s our oldest. And when I held him for the first time, it’s like everything changed. You look into their eyes for the first time and you feel this ability and this capacity to love that you’ve probably never experienced before, even with your wife. It’s a different feeling.
And I remember thinking about Gabriel, he’s an infant, he can’t do anything. And I remember thinking, man, there’s nothing this little boy could ever make me do to love him any less. And it was through that experience that I began to see the Father rightly. That’s the way He looks at me. I don’t have to earn His love, I don’t have to do something to deserve His affection and His heart. He just simply adores me because I’m His son and I’m made in His image. And that changed everything for me.” (Courtesy of Relevant Magazine)
Rebecca also brought up a great point in terms of the fact that just like in this song where the word “reckless” is used as a metaphor, the Bible also uses metaphorical terms as well to paint a picture. If you look at Psalm 91:4, it says:
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Scholars and theologians don’t use words like “taking the Bible literally” anymore, primarily because so much of the language is poetic. When she was talking about Psalm 91, she cited verse 1, which references God’s shadow. God is Spirit and without a shadow, so when the Psalmist writes that we rest in His shadow, it means God covers us and our identity is in Him. She also cited verse 5, which says God will cover us with His “feathers.” I don’t know anyone who believes that God really has feathers.
Also, If you were to read Luke 14:26, it says:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.”
So does God call us to hate our family, friends, and ourselves? Of course not! It’s used as a comparative term to describe the priority that Jesus should be in our lives compared to other people in our lives.
Hopefully, that helps explain why we don’t have a problem playing “Reckless Love” because even if the word “reckless” has a poor definition in our language, the metaphorical picture it paints in our minds allows us to see how truly beautiful God’s love for us really is.
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