Around our house, hustle isn’t a scary word. It’s just what I do.
When we look at the dictionary definition of hustle, all it means is to "work rapidly or energetically." Doesn't it remind you of Colossians 3:23? "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (NIV). When I feel guilty about working hard and attempt to follow the models of rest and soul-care that seem to be popular right now, I find myself leaning too heavily into laziness. When I turn too far the other way and work nonstop, following the world’s definition of hustle, I find myself striving and exhausted.
Either way, I end up feeling miserable.
We serve a God who created the entire earth and everything on it out of nothing in six days. God modeled work for us—energetic, creative, hard work followed by rest. As I've prayed about how this model fits with the concept of modern hustle, God has revealed a few things:
Hustling doesn’t have to mean getting ahead, walking all over our coworkers, or shining a spotlight on ourselves. Holy hustle is about working hard the way Colossians 3:23 commands, living fully in the lane where God has placed us and discovering the restorative balance of work and rest.
Today, take the time to pray about your current work/rest balance. Ask God to reveal any places that don’t line up with His plan for your life, areas where you’re working too hard and resting too little, or areas where you’re resting too much and working too little. Spend time writing out your goals, everything you would like to accomplish perhaps in the coming year, and then quietly offer those goals back to God.
Cross out anything He leads you to remove and add anything new He puts on your heart. Ask God to show you how you can make His name great through your work on these projects, and ask His forgiveness for the times when greed, a quest for fame, or a drive toward competition motivated you.
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These devotions are adapted from Holy Hustle: Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life by Crystal Stine. To learn more about how to work without shame and rest without guilt, visit https://amzn.to/2I3ow1d.