“Good things come to those who hustle” (and other flat-out lies we keep hearing)
I believe we are a generation of exhausted women.
I believe we exhausted women still feel like we’re not doing enough. Not working hard enough.
I believe this is a problem. And I’d like to talk about it.
Poisoned by Pinterest
Lately, I’ve noticed something. I can’t open a single social media outlet without seeing something about how “Good things come to those who hustle”.
Or, “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”
Or, “You rest, you rust.” (This one makes me laugh. It’s still a lie, though.)
There are whole businesses built around this #hustle movement, urging women everywhere to get in the race, start making more money, and build “a life you’re obsessed with”.
But it’s not just on social media. It’s in our churches, too. I’m hearing buzzwords thrown around like #holyhustle, and “God, Goals, & Grind”, as if the Lord Himself endorsed these phrases.
I’ve read advice that I should get on my knees and pray, and then get up and get to work.
And my very favorite? “God never gives you a dream that matches your budget. He is not checking your bank account. He’s checking your faith.”
I’m sorry, WHAT?? What does that even mean, that God gave you a dream you can’t afford, so you should pursue it anyway, however financially unstable, just to prove how much faith you have?
Are you kidding me?
That’s it, friends. I cannot hold my tongue anymore. This idea of glorifying the hustle is absolute poison.
Do you know what the word hustle actually means? I consulted our good friend Webster to get an accurate answer for us:
Hustle :: “to convey forcibly or hurriedly, to shove or push, to sell or promote energetically and aggressively, to make strenuous efforts to obtain especially money or business”
(It can also be used to describe prostitution, but I’m fairly certain that’s not what the #bossbabes are talking about…)*
Do you see those words? Forcibly. Aggressively. Shove. Push. Make strenuous efforts.
Which of those words sound like something we want to build into our lives? Do we see any of those characteristics held up in Scripture as desirable qualities we should be striving to emulate? Does God ask me to be forcible? Aggressive? Pushy?
No, no He does not.
Friends, these are not qualities that we should be glorifying. These are the characteristics of a busy, materialistic, shallow society focused on getting ahead, building a name for themselves, and doing whatever it takes to get what they want.
Hustle is not for us – we are women who value God’s Word and want to pursue the life He has for us. Do we want to work hard, be responsible, and contribute to our families? Of course we do.
But hard work is not the same as hustle.
Hard work is humble, quiet, small. It is serving faithfully, right where we are, doing the things we need to do, even things that might go unnoticed. Hard work is focused on building character and caring for others.
Hustle is aggressive, by definition. It’s chasing something we want at the expense of everything & everyone else. Hustle is focused on building our own empires, and caring for ourselves.
The “hustle” is neither holy, nor sustainable.
Because do you know what else I see? I see moms who started businesses a year ago, dropping like flies right and left. I see women who were sucked into this #hustle movement (myself included), weary and exhausted and in desperate need of rest. They are quitting their businesses and abandoning their teams and walking away from their blogs because they have emptied themselves chasing after what they thought would eventually bring them rest.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t.
It’s not just in the business world, either. I see it in stay-at-home moms just as clearly – this absolute exhaustion that comes from trying to do all the things, all the time, because hustling is what we are supposed to be doing, right?
Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
So what’s the solution? If we aren’t supposed to hustle, but we still have to work, then what are we to do?
If we take our eyes off social media, and search Scripture for what God actually requires of us, the answer couldn’t be more clear.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
- I think it’s fair to say that THESE are the characteristics that God asks us to cultivate in our lives. Not busyness, distraction, or a laser-focus on achieving “the American dream”.
“…urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:4-5
- If you read my post on big dreams, small business, and motherhood, you know that I don’t believe it’s wrong to work – either from home or outside of the home. I do it, and many of my friends and mentors do as well. It’s expensive to live in America and raise a family, and one income is often impossible to live on. I get it, I really do.However, as women we also need to remember that even when we do work, our primary focus needs to be our home and family. This is what we can always be certain that God has called us to, because it is right where we have been placed. We don’t have to wonder about it. God gave us our families, and we are to care for them.And this does not require hustle. Look at the slow pace of life reflected in these verses. Love each other. Be self-controlled, kind, pure. These things encourage a singular focus – living with our minds set on God’s Word, so that we can faithfully live out the Gospel in our homes and relationships.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful… Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:2,6
- Let’s be honest – this is virtually impossible to do when you’re leading a busy, distracted, aggressive life. We cannot hope to both “hustle” and also be devoted to prayer, full of grace, with time to answer everyone.
So how do we do it? How do we break away from the hustle?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
- We do not work to make a name for ourselves, to pad our bank accounts, or to build a brand. We work as for the Lord. We serve Him. Keeping this as our main focus will stand as a guard against the empty promises of the hustle.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
- We trust the Lord to provide. We seek His Word & His wisdom before listening to the world. And we have faith that He will lead us where we need to go.This is SO HARD for me. Is it hard for you? The hustle draws me in because I feel like maybe I can make everything work out for us – like maybe I can bring in enough money to provide comfort and security, and then I will feel taken care of.But that is a lie, pure and simple. Security and comfort don’t come with money – they come from knowing that you’re loved and cared for, even when life doesn’t feel safe. The truth is that I am not called to make things happen for myself or my family – I am called to serve where the Lord has placed me, and trust Him to provide. That’s so hard for me. But it works. He does provide. And stepping back to watch Him work things out for my family builds my faith as well as the faith of my kids.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
- We remember that everything comes from the Lord. Our God who cares for us, who is unchanging and constant – He loves and provides for us, and He always will. He is the giver of good gifts!! He WILL provide for us and our families.
When we hustle, we make every aspect of our lives dependent on ourselves – how hard we work, how much we get done, how much sleep we miss, how much money we make. Hustling is all about us and what we can do for ourselves. And while, yes, it might bring more money, more stuff, or more excitement for a time, it will never bring you the things your soul actually needs.
When we work faithfully, right where we are, we remember that God is the One in control, and we are dependent on Him. We trust Him to provide for our needs, and continue to serve in the capacities He’s given us.
Society tells us that brave women take risks, chase their dreams, and build the life they want.
But I think it might actually be braver to step away from the hustle, than to buy into it.
You might not have the ability to stay at home without working. I’m in that same boat. Or maybe you do stay at home, but you feel the pressure of Pinterest perfection. No matter where you spend your days, it’s easy to listen to the mantras of the world and feel like you better start hustling if you’re ever going to be anybody.
But I’m here to tell you the truth.
God never called you to hustle – He calls you to REST.
God asks you to bring your burdens to Him, so that He can carry them. He says that He leads us by quiet waters, that a quiet, faithful life is what He values. He never meant for the world to rest on your shoulders – and He never meant for the future of your family to rest on your shoulders, either.
You couldn’t carry it, anyway.
HE is the one who holds the world. HE is the one who holds your family. HE is the one who holds YOU.
And He does not require you to “hustle” for any of it.
Be brave, my friend. Step away from the hustle and into His rest. It might be countercultural, but I think it might also be the best thing any of us ever do.
Kayse is a wife, mom, and founder of the Anchored Women community. She writes to help women fight busy, find rest, and build a life that’s anchored in Christ. Kayse is also the creator of the S.O.S. Planner, the Anchored Life Kit, and other practical resources that equip women to manage their homes and families in confidence. You can find her writing and her resources at anchored-women.com!
I was doing a little research on the word Hustle as I just started a brand called Holy Spirit Hustlers, came across your post and adored it! So glad you are championing women with the Word, great work!
Thank you so much, I’m a stay at home mom, pregnant with no. 2 and Im fortunate to have a husband letting me stay and raise the kids while he works hard for us. We are conservative and it’s the lifestyle of choice as we want to raise a successful family. I truly appreciate your post, you saved my life. I was feeling pressure because of seeing other people doing the hustle.
Kayse, what a great post. I so wholeheartedly agree. I’m trying to get off the hustle road brought on by many health issues for my Mom. I’m forcing the doctor’s offices to not schedule things every day of the week and we are working to keep everything else to a minimum during this time. I shared this with our church women. Deb
I needed this so much today! Thank you!
I couldn’t agree more to everything you said. I learned that working and doing everything with love, honesty and integrity is what makes one happy and successful. Title, position, fame and money are temporary. Aim to help and to share. 🙂
Thank you so much Kayse!
Every now and than I, and I asume most people, need such a reminder.
That was really helpfull!
Thank you very much again!
Praise and a big Hallelujah to our Lord for simply being amazing 🙂
I love this post. Like, I’m hanging it on my fridge. I think a large part of this hustle mentality is the need for more, more, more. We bury ourselves in stuff and overwork ourselves (or go into debt) to do it. Yet, it doesn’t bring us joy. It might bring a little jolt of happiness but nothing lasting.
I really appreciate how you focus on God and doing what God needs you to do, trusting God to take care of you while you faithfully follow Him. You’ve shared a beautiful message in a beautiful way. Thank you.
Yes! I long ago gave up this race for myself, but now those messages are even more grating to me. It’s really sad.
Thank you, Kayse, for so eloquently addressing this.
I love this! It spoke to me. I am a blogger also. Can I share this with my readers?
Fabulous post! Exactly what we need to hear. Thank you for writing this. You’ve put a lot of work in it. Much appreciated.
My motto is “I write for an audience of One and whomever He invites”. Therefore He will grow my auduence as He sees fit. Though i have my part to do, and as a new blogger I have much to learn, I do not need to run myself ragged trying to make this happen.
Again, great post, which I’m pinning as well. Blessings to you.
Hi, Kayse. As you will see, I am not a mama – I’m a papa. Jilly is my beautiful wife (beautiful in many ways!) But I had to include a comment about the heading and the Pinterest plaques: “Good things come to those who hustle”, which I also believe is a lie. I was born again in my last year of primary school, in 1963. This caused me to believe it was right to put more effort into school – and of course it was – but how much effort?. My father was an atheist (he also had a temper) so I couldn’t go to him for advice, so I just worked hard, believing it was right. I had my first breakdown 4 years later. I had 3 more going through university, and I’ve had another 3 since – that’s 7 in total. All of these have come about because I didn’t know how much was enough. I just kept pushing myself because it was all I knew, and no church I attended ever addressed this subject. In fact, at the last church we attended regularly (many years later), the message in general was “You’re not doing enough!” Our daughter and her hubby left the same church a few months after we did, and when I asked why, she gave the same reason, only stronger:”You’re not doing enough!!!” This “push-push-push hustle-hustle-hustle” message (which is essentially what messed me up in high school) has greatly messed up my life. The last breakdown got me medically retired at age 53 (I’m now 65). So I agree with my wife: your blog is a blessing, and a much needed one! As you so rightly point out, the ‘fruit of the spirit’ has nothing to do with pushing and hustling. And most people who do it are doing it for them selves, and often to be seen by people – to show how magnificent they are. When they stand before Jesus, He will tell them that they had their reward – they had it on earth. (Matt 6:5, 16) I believe this is one of the reasons why we don’t often see these people being brought down; this is what they wanted, this is what they get, and they have their reward. They won’t get much when they stand before the Lord! Thank you for your blog!!!
This is amazing and such a wonderful word in due season for me. It is as though you had written it just for me; I can’t believe how well it fitted.
I am a Mama of 2 plus a bonus son in-law; our daughter married about 13 years ago. But we also have a son who is autistic, epileptic and has brain damage. So although he is 35 years old, he is still a child (it is very hard when the body grows up but the mind doesn’t). It is so easy to fall into the feeling that I am not do things right or fast enough to cover all bases, so thank you very much for this word. I shall try to remind myself of this blog post and come back to it when I am losing sight of my need to rest in God more than I probably do! It is funny that sometimes as wives and mamas, we need to be reminded to rest and give our bodies and minds a rest as well as give our Hubbies time. It is so sad that sometimes we get so busy doing things for our loved ones that we forget that the most important thing they need is a healthy meal and time spent with them.
So thank you for this Godly reminder to rest in Him and work as unto Him and not as unto the world or the world’s way!!
I know my precious Hubby of 37 years is going to love reading your post as he has been trying hard to get me to rest a bit more than I do, and my reply in most cases is, “I don’t have time for that! – you just don’t understand!” There is so much to do when looking after a child like our Josh…I am thinking I may need to keep this blog post secret from him… (Too late – I’ve read it! Anto)
Much Love Jilly. oxo
P.S. Your blog blesses me as I often feel I don’t fit into most groups in life – I am a Mama of grown children and yet I am also a Mama of a ‘35 year-old 7 year-old’ so, as you can see, life can at times be a tad confusing. But here on your blog, I don’t feel like that, so thank you for that feeling of belonging!
Thank you, Kayse, for being willing to ‘go against the flow’ and present a biblical perspective in this area.
WOW! I so needed to hear this. THANK YOU!
I love this post. I recently realized that my calling and what I love to do – write – had become a source of stress and anxiety to me. With all the things I “should” be doing, I felt overwhelmed and tired just thinking about it. As I was praying about how exhausted I felt, God reminded me that wasn’t what HE had called me to. HE had asked me to be faithful to write – and in my mad rush to try to do all the things, I wasn’t even doing much of that! It’s so easy to get distracted and busy in this world (Martha anyone?), but this post is a good reminder that hustle is NOT where it’s at!
I probably would have ignored you 6 months ago, before I was so full of depression, despair and fatigue from the constant rush. I am a homeschooling mama of 2 teen girls. I did not homeschool my 23 year old prodigal son, so I was determined not to lose my daughter’s. Instead of resting, i was pushing them and pushing myself. I wish I had known better. I was worrying about everything instead of resting. I have spent several thousands of dollars recovering physically from the worry stress, and hustle, which was likely half of what other women do to try to be superwoman. God is the super one and we need to let Him be super through our weakness, through our vulnerability, through our resting, trust, and reliance on Him.
This post is so needed. And that definition of “hustle” cuts deep. Thank you for writing this post and reminding us what matters. xo
This is such a timely article. My mouth almost dropped open when I read the definition of hustle. I’m a new sahm blogger and I identify with everything you wrote. I needed this. Thank you for boldly sharing your heart.
Kayse, this is wonderful!
Thank you for these words. I am so glad that you shared them today. They spoke right to my heart.