For years, my ringtone was the intro to Rick Ross’s “Everyday I’m Huslin”. I put it on my phone in the days when we were starting Soul City Church. Back when all we had was God, Vision…and Hustle!  The days when we went over a year without a paycheck. The days when I was woking a part time Consulting Job, while working to land Speaking Jobs, while finishing the Creative Matters Book…while working full time on launching Soul City Church. It is fair to say that I was HUSTLIN. As I look back, I can honestly say that I love those days…I just had no idea of the inherent HARM in all that Hustle.

HARMFUL HUSTLE
Hustle is worn like a badge of honor in our culture. It gives us a sense of significance. It makes us believe that we are making others believe that we are really up to something! We convince ourselves that the more we’re up to and the more people know about it, the better. And while a healthy drive and steadfast commitment to doing your very best for God is a good thing, Hustle can quickly become a smokescreen for a lack of dependence on God and actually begin to work against the work of God within you.

Unhealthy Hustle can subtly and quickly lead to:

  • A lack of dependence on God
  • A disproportionate dependence on yourself
  • Pride
  • Sacrificing Sabbath
  • A lot going on with little getting done
  • A form of Self-Promotion that attempts to mask the insecurity of insignificance

HOLY HUSTLE
In the last three years of Jesus’ life, we see a man on a mission. The fulfillment of hundred of prophecies and thousands of years of waiting are all coming to a head in one man, in just three short years. You may have a full inbox to crush today, but the salvation of the human race is probably not on your to-do list. It would be easy to assume, given all that was on his plate and on his shoulders, that Jesus was hustlin. He must have been hustlin to accomplish God’s perfect will in God perfect timing…and yet…this is not the picture that the scriptures paint at all. The Gospels record several accounts of Jesus pulling away from it all to be alone, to be still, to be aware of his Father’s loving presence, to put a halt to all the hustle.

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16

The Harm in all your Hustle is that it can lead to a lifestyle of getting things done BY YOU, without allowing God to get done IN YOU what only He can do. The grind, the rush, the excitement, the drive, the humble bragging. None of these things are bad in and of themselves…until they begin to get in the way of the slow, deliberate, difficult, good work that God wants to do in you. Jesus knew this all too well.
Think about it. There were more towns that he didn’t visit than he did. There were more people that weren’t healed, than were. There was much more that he could have “gotten done” if only he had Hustled Harder…but Jesus knew…that anytime the work I’m doing gets in the way of the work that God is doing in me…it’s time to hit pause.

CHECK YO SELF
This week, in all your hustle, don’t forget…God is present. He is inviting you to be present with Him and with your Soul where He dwells. To slow down…to stop…to stay…to pull away and experience his loving presence. Maybe that’s something you need to take the next 5 minutes and do right now. To honestly ask yourself,
“Is my Hustle Harming my Soul?”
“Who am I Hustlin for?”
“Do I have the courage of Jesus to stop, to pull away, and rest in the unhustled presence of my Heavenly Father?”
“What can I do THIS WEEK to bring my Health to my Hustle?”

Are you a “Hustle-Aholohic”?
Is there something God might be trying to say to you about it?
How can you practice Healthy Hustle this week?

(image by Scott Erickson)

  • Andrea says:

    I don’t know if anyone else feels like they got a direct message from God but I certainly did. Thanks for sharing. It’s really hard to find a balance between depending on God vs. self when you’re freelance. Really, really hard. Sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself to float when all you want to do is make strides (or stay afloat). I definitely do not have it down yet – or even close.

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