Want to know a dirty little secret about me? I’m lazy. I mean, I want to be able to post a perfectly styled photo of my desk with tons of finished blog posts and jewelry designs in the background, and hashtag #hustle, #makeithappen, and #girlboss. But honestly? It’s not all that easy for me. Call it love of comfort (you’d be right), busyness & exhaustion (all the mamas said amen!), or paralyzing fear of failure (probably closest to the truth). For me, “hustle” just doesn’t happen. When it does, it’s often rushed, anxious, & desperate for approval.
The truth is, it’s hard to hustle. It’s even harder to hustle and not lose your soul.
I tend to swing between two extremes: One day I’m a lazy comfort-seeker in sweatpants and the next, an anxious glory-seeker, hyperventilating at the first sign of a screw-up. Both are rooted in that ancient serpent’s lie - that God isn’t enough. Let’s say I’ve got a project looming large over my shoulder, maybe a web launch, as a completely hypothetical example. Either I give into anxious busywork and call it ambition or I cop out, make excuses, and call it grace. Both are deadly to my hustle and to my soul.
In my laziness, I’ll decide that I’m too tired from making jewelry & chasing babies. I’ll think, ‘I don’t have the skills to create a beautiful website, or the money to pay a professional.” So I do nothing. I give up. But where’s God in all this? I’ve forgotten that God promises to finish what He starts, and my laziness reveals itself for what it was all along: A lack of trust in God’s strength & provision.
When I’m anxious, I work every spare minute, talk and worry about my business incessantly, and collapse in condemnation when I see beautiful God-glorifying jewelry brands online. Something inside whispers “What if I’m not good enough? I’m nothing.” My identity is so rooted in my own fame and fortune, the idea of losing it is paralyzing. At times, it’s paralyzing to the point of never starting a project at all.
My ambition can never be rooted in my desire to be amazing, but in God’s amazing grace. Otherwise, my work can never produce good fruit.
Ephesians 2:10 gives us the antidote: God Himself. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (ESV).” Standing alone, this verse can look like a warning from that fictional finger-wagging God we see in our mind’s eye, screaming “You’re my masterpiece, dangit! You’d better suck it up and do those good works I planned!” Let me tell you, that’s NOT the voice of our God. He encourages us to shift our gaze from our role in this verse to His.
This completely flips my perspective. He created us, He gave us new life in Jesus, He wrote our stories before we were born. And He gives us power to walk those stories out.
Let’s get a little context. This verse is wrapped in an entire chapter that’s dripping in God’s rich grace. Just before this, Paul says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith. It is not your own doing; it is the gift of God so no one may boast (v.8-9).” Hear that? NOBODY can boast. Not you, not that perfect Instagrammer you follow, and not your friend who feeds her kids gourmet, homemade, organic, non-GMO meals and still has time to do her hair. (And hey, if that’s you, can you come over and teach me?) Take that heavy load off your back and breathe, sister! You don’t have to be anything, because He is everything.
What’s crazy about this is that when the pressure’s off, hustle tends to happen! With my eyes fixed on grace, I am free. My laziness & anxiety are transformed into treasuring and trusting Christ. Instead of craving comfort above all else, I can treasure God’s grace and work hard by His strength. Instead of fearing failure and what others think of me, I can His trust glorious perfection and not scrape for my own.
And here’s the beauty of it: When this is my heart for hustle, I enjoy peace for my soul & rich fruit in the right season.
How about today, we take a leap of faith together and choose to believe God’s truth? That in Christ, we have grace for the laziness and power for the hustle. Hustle like this - it’s the only kind that brings joy to our work and life to our souls.