Reckless Love by Greg Albrecht

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:38-39).

When Christ-followers take up their cross and follow Jesus, losing their own interests in the greater cause of serving Jesus, by the grace of God they begin to experience the “reckless” love of God. Reckless love is the self-sacrificial, serving love of our Savior, and as a priority of life in Christ, reckless love stands opposed to a greater commitment on our part to safety and security.

Don’t get me wrong—let me clarify right away with a disclaimer! The desire for self-preservation is part of what it means to be human. It is natural to desire safety and security. The desire for self-preservation keeps us from danger and helps us avoid hazards that could be detrimental to our health.

But the desire to protect and preserve ourselves can grow into a priority that threatens our devotion and service to Jesus. Safety and security are of course opposed to losing life for any reason—including losing one’s life for the sake of Jesus. “Losing” one’s life in the name of Jesus is “reckless love.”

Enslaved to Finding Security and Safety or Being Free in Christ?

Though some legalistic Christians may define God’s grace in such a way, when we speak of “reckless” love we are not speaking of a foolhardy, daredevil and irresponsible life. The reckless love of which we speak is the willingness to lose our life in serving Christ, whatever that may entail.

When safety and security become our priority in life, above all else, then we are  doomed to a life of slavery rather than freedom. Safety and security, as the number one priority in any life, will lead to fear and bondage—ensuring a life based on this life and this life alone. Safety and security as the priority in life can become a god other than the one true God.

But Jesus, in his cross and through his resurrection, presents another value—another perspective—another way of living life. Jesus tells us that our only hope, if we accept God’s invitation to live in his grace and love, is to spiritually die to our own desires and goals (Galatians 2:20) so that we might live in Jesus, and he in us. Our ultimate goal as Christ-followers is to set aside competing interests that war with our service to Jesus. Our ultimate hope is Jesus, who, when we die in and with him, resurrects us to new life—he becomes our risen Lord.

Jesus tells us that he has conquered death and the grave, and we need not live fearfully, as if our own inevitable physical death is the end of everything. Because of our risen Lord we are free to live lives out of and because of the reckless love of God.

That’s why Jesus said, Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:39).

Reckless love is making oneself vulnerable, which of course is the very definition of why God in Christ came to this earth, and what he did while he was here, culminating in the cross of Christ and his resurrection.

The love of God, as we see revealed in and through Jesus, is self-abandoning love. We see Jesus who recklessly gave himself away in love—he didn’t “save” his life,
living it cautiously out of fear that he might lose it, but rather, gave himself away in love.

Everyone knows that dying on a cross is unsafe—but that’s exactly what Jesus did. Jesus’ death on the cross is the perfect illustration and demonstration of God’s reckless love.

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