Is God's Love Really Reckless?

August 06, 2019

Is God's Love Reckless?

Recently I came across the phrase "the reckless love of God" on some sites while I’m doing some research. It kind of hit me a little bit because the first impression I had in mind was why exactly is God’s love reckless? So I decided to dig in further out of sheer curiosity.

While doing the search on the phrase, the first result that appeared on Google was the song "Reckless Love" by Bethel Music’s singer Cory Asbury. The song was a mega-hit worship song that topped the America Billboard’s Christian charts for about three months in 2017 and the official video garnered more than 100 million views on Youtube.

Since then, there are people who love the song and obviously there are people who are strongly against the lyrics, specifically the phrase "reckless love of God".

What Does Reckless Love Mean?

Meaning of Reckless

The word "reckless" normally come across our mind as acting without thinking or caring about the outcome and consequences. If you refer to a Thesaurus, reckless is associated with words like: audacious, adventuresome, careless, carefree, daring, daredevil, foolhardy, hasty, heedless, hotheaded, inattentive, inconsiderate, irresponsible, rash, uncareful, wild and many more.

A driver who is rushing for time keeps overtaking cars at high speed, makes dangerous turns and dashes across red lights. He is a reckless driver and is disregarding the safety of others. This is a negative example.

A couple who have only met for 3 days decides to marry each other because they feel happy together. That’s a reckless decision.

When a child is trapped inside an overturned car that is dripping oil and about to explode, the parent will ignore all danger and exhaust his/her efforts to get the child out of the car. That is likely considered as reckless love but which parent wouldn’t do that? This is a positive example.

But God’s love is absolutely omniscient, intentional and unconditional. He decides and chooses who to redeem, who to love and who to rescue. The act of redeeming and rescuing sinners like us may seem foolish and reckless to the outsiders. But in 1 Corinthians 1:25, the scripture says "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."

Before God created the world, He already knew he would send His Son Jesus Christ to a broken, sinful and wicked world to die on the cross for our sins. Despite that, He chose to save you and me, displaying his overwhelming, never-ending and intentional love that we don’t deserve and can’t earn it at all. Is this reckless love? This is definitely not reckless love from God because it is intentional and deliberate.

But maybe the author of the song meant that the recklessness of God is an assured success compared to man’s painstaking plans which may not succeed. And probably the author’s intention was the positive example of parent saving the child from the car mentioned above. While the word "reckless" carry negative connotations on its own, it does not necessarily mean there’s negativity in the song.

Should We Sing The Song in Church or During Worship?


Pastor John Piper of Desiring God discussed about the topic of whether this song should be sung in church. He mentioned there are plenty of songs that are biblically and theologically correct to choose from. If the pastors and lead worshipers want their congregation to be filled with richest of biblical food, they don’t have to choose songs that are misleading or theologically defective.

The primary responsibility lies with the pastors and lead worshippers. They have to engage people’s minds with the truth of gospel, the spiritual reality and make sure people are rooted in Christ. This is so that people know what they are singing and what kind of messages they are receiving, and not solely focus on a single word or phrase in the lyrics. When we read the bible, we don’t only read and try to understand a single verse, we have to understand and examine the whole intention of the chapter/book, right?

There are in fact many songs that have arguable ‘defective’ lyrics, not just this "Reckless Love". If you are in the congregation and you don’t like the idea of singing a particular song that is theologically defective or if your conscience cannot overcome it, either just stop singing it or you replace the word/phrase with one that you can relate to the Truth.

Why God’s Love is Reckless and Why It is Not?

Why God's love is reckless and why it is not?

Below are instances of why His love seems reckless yet it is not.

First example. From a human perspective it may seem that the love of God is reckless and ridiculous because he has chosen us and loved us even when we were sinners (Romans 5:8). God loves all people in the world, wants to redeem them by dying on the cross but still people are rejecting him. In fact some people hate him for many reasons. It seems illogical for God to love those who don’t deserve it in the first place and yet continues to love them even when they don’t reciprocate.

Why it is not? – God is omniscient, the all-mighty one who knows the past, present and future (Isaiah 46:9-10). He knew who would be saved and who would reject him (Romans 9:6-8). He fully knew that he had to send his Son Jesus to die on the cross for us to order to save us sinners. He fully knew of our nature sin and total depravity but still chose us to be His children. So God’s love cannot be reckless because he has everything planned out perfectly and his love towards us is totally intentional and undeserving.

Another example is when God instructed Hosea to marry a "wife of whoredom" in Hosea 1:2-3 'When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, "Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord." So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.' This suggests how God's love was reckless and irresponsible for his people at first. After Gomer bore Hosea a son named Jezreel, Gomer soon became unfaithful to Hosea. Then God seems reckless again and tells Hosea to go after an adulteress (Hosea 3:1). Hosea then redeemed Gomer from the slave market with fifteen shekels of silver and a lethek of barley.

Why it is not? – This extraordinary expression of love illustrated how God has loved Israel and wanted to show his greatness of grace. The Lord continues to love Israel though they turn to other gods. Hosea’s faithfulness to Gomer was an illustration of God’s faithfulness to Israel. When Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea, it showed Israel’s broken relationship with God. Just as Hosea redeemed Gomer and continue his relationship with her, God promised to redeem Israel and continue the relationship with him. The whole point about this story is that God never gives up on His people, He pursues them with His unending love and invite sinners to go back to him no matter how much idolatry they may have committed.

'Reckless Love of God' in The Lyrics Explained

Reckless meanings explained

Now we can stop guessing what the word "reckless" meant in the song because the song author Cory Asbury himself has shared about his thoughts.

In a Facebook post, Cory clarified on the word "reckless love" that was used to describe God in his song.

He explained that he was not saying God is reckless when he used the phrase "the reckless love of God". The way God loves is in a way unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn’t selfish and He doesn’t think of what He’ll gain or lose. His Love leaves the ninety-nine to search for the one lost sheep every time. His Love is self-sacrificing when He sent his only son Jesus to die on the cross. God chose to have no “Plan B” to show his complete love for us.

These are the recklessness love of God that Cory described and meant. To read the complete clarification, you can read the original post by him.

In another Relevant Magazine’s interview with Cory Asbury, Cory discussed about the controversy about the love of God being "reckless" and the background of the song.

Cory shared that "Reckless Love" is a song describing about what true Father’s love is. In this generation many of us have a skewed impression of what Father’s love is because of what our own fathers were like.

When Cory had his first son Gabriel, he reconciled with what was told in the Bible, that God is always tender and good. As a father himself, Cory loves Gabriel because the son is his own blood and the son doesn’t need to do anything to earn Cory’s unconditional love.

Cory also went on to explain the idea of recklessness of God’s love. He described the recklessness as a protective nature, that God would do anything to stop the enemy who is against us. He then concluded the interview giving his views on the negative connotations of the word "reckless". He felt that the negativity came about as people are too focused on a certain word or concept and unable to get the bigger picture of the whole song.

What’s Your View on The Phrase/Lyrics?

Bible verses for the lyrics Reckless Love

Well, maybe a better word to replace the word "reckless" in the song would be "relentless" but maybe it wouldn’t fit or sound so well. I have no issue singing the song because the rest of the lyrics have good intentions, mentioning God’s love for us and I can relate them to the bible. What’s your take on this?

Verse 1 & 2

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me (Zephaniah 3:17)
You have been so so good to me (Psalm 86:5)
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me (Genesis 2:7)
You have been so, so kind to me (Titus 3:4-6)
When I was Your foe still Your love fought for me (Romans 5:8)
When I felt no worth You paid it all for me (Ephesians 2:3-4)


Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God (Romans 5:7-8, Jeremiah 31:3)
Oh it chases me down fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine (Luke 15:3-7)
I couldn't earn it and I don't deserve it, still You give Yourself away (Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:8-9)


There's no shadow You won't light up, Mountain You won't climb up, Coming after me (Psalm 23:1)
There's no wall You won't kick down, Lie You won't tear down, Coming after me (Luke 19:10) 

Reckless Love of God Lyrics and Chords

Here’s the actual lyrics and chords of the song.


D#m                    C#                         B
Before I spoke a word You were singing over me

D#m                C#         B
You have been so so good to me

D#m                   C#                         B
Before I took a breath You breathed Your life in me

D#m                C#             B
You have been so so kind to me


      D#m            C#                  B                  F#
Oh the overwhelming never-ending reckless love of God

        D#m                C
Oh it chases me down fights 'til I'm found

 B                  F#
leaves the ninety-nine

           D#m                          C#
I couldn't earn it and I don't deserve it

           B                 F#
still You give Yourself away

       D#m            C#                  B                  F#
Oh the overwhelming never-ending reckless love of God


D#m                  C#                      B
When I was Your foe still Your love fought for me

D#m                C#           B
You have been so so good to me

D#m                 C#                   B
When I felt no worth You paid it all for me

D#m                C#             B
You have been so so kind to me


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

Bridge 2 (3x)

D#m                             C#
There's no shadow You won't light up

                    B                           F#
Mountain You won't climb up - coming after me

D#m                             C#
There's no wall You won't kick down

               B                       F#
Lie You won't tear down - Coming after me


Official Music Video of Reckless Love

Here’s the video of the official song that’s on Youtube if you are interested to listen to it.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.