Hustle harder. Keep pushing for success. Strive for perfection. It’s all about the hustle. Hustle now, rest later. If you aren’t hustling, are you even trying? If this sounds familiar to you, you’re probably highly in tune with popular culture and its effect on society at present. The urban dictionary defines the hustle as a fast way of making money or working hard towards the common goal of generating an income.
The hustle has become a part of our lives. We’re continuously striving for an abundant income, for the best we can achieve or for perfection. Are we really hustling for the right thing?
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs chapter 14, verse 23).
There is joy and accomplishment in working hard to accomplish our goals. Whether this is to fulfil our dreams, achieve career milestones or accomplish family and personal goals. Proverbs tells us that there is profit in our hard work. At the risk of sounding like a millennial, my brain processed that scripture as finding reward in the hustle. It’s good for us to work, and to work hard. Hard work doesn’t imply solely hard labour, but is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as “putting a lot of effort and care into work”.
Hard work simply means that we care about the work we’re doing and put our best efforts into getting the best results – we’re not withholding our potential for something better at a later stage.
Hustle for perfection
A part of our human nature is the quest to achieve what we define as perfection for our lives. We strive for the accomplishment of what we think will lead to true fulfilment. The reality is that perfection, subjective as it is, is also unattainable in our human nature.
“I’ve learned that there is nothing perfect in this imperfect world except your words, for they bring such fantastic freedom into my life!” (Psalm chapter 119, verse 96)
We live in a world where social and cultural standards for perfection stand as a compass whose true north has been skewed. Our world is wrecked with imperfections, pain and loss. We’ve become inclined to hustle towards perfection in our quest for acceptance that cannot be attained. Our quest leads us seeking for acceptance met by the standards of the world’s definition of perfection. Our humanity leads us to hustle astray.
The truth is that perfection can only be found in the word of God and in His will for our lives. The hustle to the perfection found in Christ brings us true acceptance and freedom from the confines of the world.
With all this being said, is the hustle a bad thing? Are we wrong to strive towards something more than who we are now?
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans chapter 12, verse 2)
I don’t view the hustle in a negative light, given that we choose to hustle right. Our desire to hustle harder is better channelled into our desire to work and seek fulfillment in greater than ourselves. Our calling as followers of Christ is to be more than what the world deems us to be. We do not conform to societies ideologies of perfection and success.
Our standard for life, for our goals and the baseline against which we measure our success should be found in the will of God. There is no higher standard to which we can hold ourselves accountable. In light of the will of God, the world itself falls short in its imperfection. What then is societies measure of perfection when weighed against the Creator?
To hustle right means that we strive for the accomplishment of the will of God, towards a heavenly standard for our lives and towards the goal that is greater than financial and material possessions even if it means going against perceived norms.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians chapter 23, verses 23 and 24)
We should hustle to the best of our abilities, not because we are required to, but because the true reward we receive is heavenly. Our hustle is not dictated by the standards of the world, but by what has been laid out for us by Christ. Hustle hard, for your reward is in Christ. Hustle well, for we have been called to live honourable lives. Hustle true, for the rest that follows your labour is in eternal life.
Crystelda Naidoo hails from South Africa. She is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. She has completed a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons. having majored in marketing, and has since launched the lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger - targeted at empowering women in their daily lives. The blog can be found at https://selahblogger.wordpress.com/
Crystelda Naidoo’s previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/crystelda-naidoo.html