Last Sunday we had a guest speaker at our church. His message started off about the birth of Christ starting in Luke when the angel Gabriel tells Mary she is going to birth the King of Kings. As the speaker, Josh Wallace, went on he began digging deep into why Jesus was sent her for us. Josh started talking about God’s love for us. Now I’ve heard many sermons and have heard many speakers talk about God’s love for me, but Josh said something that really struck a chord with me.
He said “God’s love is reckless.”
What?! Surely not! God is not reckless – He has everything under control!
But then I started to really think about what Josh meant. As he continued his speech he spoke about how we need to be the “Jesus next door” – to our neighbors, co-workers, friends… everyone we meet. We need to be that loving, caring, outgoing person that Jesus was. And by “reckless” I think Josh meant that Jesus gave His love to everyone. Every. One. The woman at the well. The leper. The tax collectors. Even Judas – who hated him and eventually gave him up to the authorities. And God loved us so recklessly that He gave His only son to save us from sin. Now that’s reckless!
I admit I do not share this kind of “reckless love” that Jesus embodied. Our god daughter Megan – she pretty much loves everyone. She embodies what it means to love recklessly – giving out hugs to everyone who asks for one. She opens her heart and smiles her big smile and people melt. (Mainly because she’s very adorable, but also because people want to be loved.)
She is young. She has yet to be hurt. She has yet to have her heart stomped on, torn out and spit upon. I have. I’ve had my share, I would say more than my fair share, of heartache in my life. As a result, my love is guarded, cautious, and suspicious – not reckless. I built up very high walls around my love. People don’t get it readily from me. It has to be earned. My love does not give out all access passes – you have to have special privileges to get into see this heart.
And yet, Jesus was hurt. At almost every turn He had people wanting to kill Him. From day one Herod hated Him and sent out his legions to try to kill Him and He was a baby! It didn’t matter. He kept loving. It was risky for Jesus to give out his love so freely, so recklessly. There were people who didn’t like that he gave out love to every Tom, Dick and Mary. It was wrong, they said, to love a leper. Wrong, to speak with that woman, probably a prostitute, at the well. He should have been ashamed to speak to these people. But he wasn’t. He loved them as He loved everyone. With abandon.
Now I don’t think I’ll be able to go out and start doing it His way tomorrow, but I’m going to try to let down my guards some. I’m going to try and let a few over the wall – see what happens. Maybe even try to recklessly throw my love out into the great big world and see what happens. It’s what He wants us to do – how He wants us to live our lives.
How you can you love recklessly today?