Around this time of year, with all the New Years resolutions, I see a lot of Christian and non christian’s alike posting goals alongside messages like: “work hard and see your dreams come true”, and “Live the life you’ve always wanted”.
Essentially saying: do more, work harder, and reap the benefits. Below are some examples after a quick search on Pinterest:
While there is nothing wrong with ambition, and as believers we are called to be hard workers (Col. 3:23, 2 Thess. 3:10-12) something about this “Hustle” message just never quite sat right with me.
@thegirlnamedblake recently pointed out a few red flags about buying in to the “hustle” culture:
- “It tells us to be the hero of our stories
- it’s completely self-centric
- it defines our worth by what we can do/accomplish/bring to the table”—@thegirlnamedblake
The “Hustle Culture” is selling subtle lies that encourage you to preach “by my strength for my success” rather than “By His Strength, for His Glory”
Because “Hustle” towards goals does not necessarily equal Holy obedience to God. Oftentimes obedience looks like slow growth rather than fast results by following some “easy no fail steps”. It’s humility behind the scenes, and it sometimes never gets recognized.
The issue is that we stress and struggle over what is temporary and get lazy about the eternal.
and so maybe the best question to ask is:
Are my efforts building up His kingdom, or mine?
This doesn’t necessarily need to look like “big, drastic” measures or life change- not everyone is called to a vocation of full time ministry. Oftentimes, the very place that you’re at is exactly where God wants you to minister. You can be diligent in working towards healthy, fruit bearing goals, (when they are lined up with God’s call for your your life) and do it from a place of peace, rest, and from a desire to see Him be glorified above yourself.
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways.”Psalm 119:37
Let’s consider the story of Mary and Martha:
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:38-42
What Martha was doing wasn’t necessarily wrong- she was busy serving and making sure everything was in order for Jesus’ visit to their home. It was a lovely and hospitable effort. I can SO relate to her in this. That’s probably where I’d be as well.
But the story reveals more than just her actions in serving- it shows her heart:
Scripture says she was “distracted”, “Anxious”, and “Troubled about many things.”
I can guess that if you get caught up in the “hustle culture” lies, at some point you’re going to get burnt out and will be able to how she’s feeling. I know I’ve been there. To be completely honest, I’m there now. And I’m weary. Join me in seeking what Holy obedience to God from a place of dependence on Him looks like?
“The world clamors, “Do more! Be all that you can be!” But our Father whispers, “Be still and know that I am God.” ― Joanna Weaver
We must discern when it’s time to abide, and when it’s time to get to work. Oftentimes, it’s a matter of the heart and where our motives lie.
“So here I am. Still working hard, still spinning a fair amount of plates, but doing it from a place of rest, a place of Christ in me, a place of “This does not identify me… Grace will get you places hustling never can.”@thegirlnamedblake