The past few days on Xanga, I've been accused a of reckless idealism a few times. This amuses me greatly, since people who know me well in person know me as an overly-realistic, cynical worrywort. Be that as it may, I want to write about the most reckless idealist I've ever met--Jehovah God.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
We were created to love and worship God, but almost as soon as we set foot on this planet, we divorced Him. Like the most ungrateful, vindictive of spouses, we spit in His face and repudiated all that He had given us.
What did He do?
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God wasn't okay with being divorced, so He set out to win us back. But before we ever even thought about saying yes, He signed a prenup.
Prenups are to protect your assets, right? They're to hedge your bets in case the person you're with decides to take you for all you're worth.
Not God's prenup. God signed His life away to us, in the Person of Jesus Christ, when we were still spitting in His face. He signed a prenup, not to protect Himself, but to give Himself away protecting us.
What did we do?
Romans 7:19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
Even after we accepted His gift and agreed to marry Him again, we kept on wronging Him, again and again. And He was omniscient, so he knew exactly what we would do and when we would do it.
How did He respond? Did He put us on probation? Did He stop trusting and respecting us? Did He stop using us because He knew we would fail Him?
Hebrews 10:17-18 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Amazingly, God didn't do any of those things. Each time we messed up, He forgave us and treated us as if it had never happened, as if our reputation was totally unstained. He still delighted to love the imperfect perfectly, to use us to show Himself to the world. Like the most reckless idealist in the world, He treated us like He thought we'd never mess up again.
How could God do this? How could He love us this way, knowing our imperfections?
Philippians 2:5-8 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
The answer is, God can love us this way because He is selfless. He doesn't need to hedge His bets, to protect His assets, because He's not thinking about Himself. He constantly empties Himself for the sake of His beloved.
What are the implications for us as human beings?
Ephesians 5:1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Simply, we are called to treat others as God has treated us, to be as selfless as He is, whether in our approach to romance or any other issue. Living with lists of grievances and walls to protect us is like a ball and chain that keeps us from experiencing the fullness God has for us.
Will we experience pain if we choose to live this way?
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Absolutely. But the One who calls us to be like Him in all things also promises to give us everything we need to endure whatever pain He allows us to face. We do not please Him by living our lives to avoid pain. We please Him by walking through all things with our hand in His and complete trust that He will work all things together for our good.
Matthew 28:20b And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
God is the most reckless Person I've ever met, giving Himself without measure to those who don't deserve a drop of His love and constantly ignore and devalue His goodness. May my journey with Him make me ever more recklessly selfless like He is.Based on these scriptures, do you think God is a reckless idealist? What do you think of God's selflessness? What can we learn and appreciate about the way God selflessly loves us?