Months ago, my husband was catching up with a friend from high school, during which the friend commented my hardworking husband needed a "side-hustle" on top of his 50+ hours a week job. My husband was angry at the comment later, feeling invalidated by the friend's presumption that he was somehow not working hard enough.
The bootstrap myth, the self-made man... it has all culminated into "the hustle" that is now dominating the United States Millennial generation. The attitude that if you have a few spare hours, you should be using it to work harder and make more money. Drive Uber or Lyft, join FIverr, become an online influencer that requires you to post X number of times a week...
But "the hustle" is a dangerous attitude to take on.
It pushes us to work harder than we need to. It creates a constant feeling of inadequacy, that you could always do better or make more. And worst of all, money or busyness becomes an idol that takes place of God, attacking our spiritual well being. This mindset is also toxic to our mental health as well. If we have replaced God with idols, then we have ceased taking time to rest in God. Regardless of your walk of faith, we need to take time to rest and care for ourselves.
Idols don't have to be physical, like the Golden Calf in Exodus. They also don't have to be the TV of modern times or our phones. Just like the young man who could not sell his belongings to follow Jesus, when "the hustle" becomes our home culture, busyness and money become an idol that quickly takes place of God in our daily lives.
I understand where the urge to join the rat race comes from. Believe me, the ghost of student loans yet to come haunt our finances too. But I also know that God urges us to not be anxious because we will provided for, just like the birds of the sky. We are called to live counter to the culture we exist in; a culture that denotes our value from our finances or our items achieved for the day. We lose our sense of purpose, our sense of intentional living and praying, when idols dominate our daily lives rather than mindfully placing God at the center.
Hear me, sweet friend, your value is not in what you have accomplished. Your value and worth is rests solely in God; in the love you have for God and God's children. You, just as God made you, are more than enough. You are enough.
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