Anxiety, Christian Living, Depression, Encouragement, Intentional, Mental Health

What is the downside to hustle?

the lie I used to believe

I was cleaning up my home office, reorganizing piles of papers and cleaning off surfaces. As I cleaned, my eyes fell on the bulletin board hanging above my bookcase. The space serves mostly as a vision board and a holder of family memories and little notes my children have written to me. As my eyes roamed the various pictures, quotes, and phrases hanging there, I stopped when I spotted the card. 

Written in a bold font on a bright colored background it read: “You are entirely up to you.” I stared at it for a second and then took it down and looked at it closer. I’d probably hung that card up there 5 years ago. Other papers had been hung since then, so it had faded to the background.

you are entirely up to you

learning a lesson the hard way

But seeing it now brought back memories of my thought patterns of 5 years past. That phrase, and many like it, feeds the hustle culture. The ‘rah-rah’ phrases that tell us if we just work a little harder, and dream a little bigger, we can do absolutely anything we put our mind to. 

Hustle culture can certainly help get things done. I remember the desire to “crush” goals and how “hustle and heart could set me apart.” But, along with that hustle was a downside. Things were getting accomplished, but I was also anxious about falling behind. The concern that what was being done was never enough left me exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually. 

I had bought into the lie that I was entirely up to me. Maybe it feels great when we finally get to the mountaintop on our own. But here’s the rub: once we’ve reached that peak all by ourselves, we’re still alone. Then, we must find a way all by ourselves to always remain on top, or we lose the momentum we’ve created and come back down – alone.

We can hold on to the belief that if we just work a little harder, pray a little more, have a little more faith, push ourselves that extra step, then everything will start falling into place. But eventually, it will burn us out. Instead of relying solely on Jesus, we are relying on ourselves.

Instead of resting in Him, we wrestle with the feeling that we just haven’t done quite enough.

grasping the truth

The reality is that I am not enough. And you aren’t either. Unless we can grasp the fact that we will always be lacking and that we can find our completion in Jesus, then we will always be striving for more and coming up short.

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