Author Dr Kathrine McAleese shares how we can simplify and "unhustle" our lives with the help of Jesus.
Have you ever felt exhausted, burnt out or overwhelmed? Maybe you feel it, perhaps feel guilty that you’re not getting as much done as others, but you try to ignore it and keep going… this is hustle culture.
We live in a world where you will be applauded for working all hours and being super productive: "I could never do what you do, you always get so much done!" "I’m exhausted just hearing your schedule!" "You’re amazing - you work all those hours, make cakes, and serve at church!"
We live in a world where you will be applauded for working all hours and being super productive.
These statements aren’t bad in themselves, but they reinforce and affirm busyness which our culture sees as a strength. It’s easy to feel like you should always be doing something "useful" and can guilt you into feeling you can’t say "no" to "serving", even when you’re already struggling.
One thing I love about Jesus is how he saw the person in context. He didn’t look at them and judge them in isolation of the world they inhabited, and instead he loved them and raised them out of their circumstances. In the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), Martha takes flak for being in the kitchen instead of at Jesus’ feet. I believe Jesus wasn’t just criticising her, but also recognising that she was doing exactly what society expected of her. She would have been culturally affirmed for serving in hospitality. Imagine the gossip if she’d sat at Jesus’ feet and left him unfed! Don’t miss this.
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Martha was doing exactly what culture expected, what she would have been criticised for NOT doing… but the very thing society expected of her was keeping her from time with her Lord. THIS is what happens when we take our cues from culture, rather than from God. Matthew 11:28-30 in The Message translation beautifully expresses how Jesus calls us to "unhustle". Compare the rhythms of your life to those of Jesus. Ask him to show both what he wants you to do and where he wants you to put boundaries and say "no".
Martha was doing exactly what culture expected, what she would have been criticised for NOT doing
You MUST learn to say "no" to what seems good so you can say "yes" to what God intends. You can strive in this life, trying to jump through all the hustle-hoops a capitalistic, individualistic, consumerist culture demands OR you can work from rest that only the Lord can give. This requires you to lean on God and have Jesus show you how to untangle your striving from his path for you.
I KNOW this can feel scary. I know it can feel anxiety-provoking for you not to be busy every minute, and to learn to take guilt-free rest. I also know that this is the rhythm of God and it is infinitely superior to how our culture would shape us. In case you fear that means you’ve got to dream smaller goals, it is quite the opposite. Learning to live at God’s pace will liberate you to achieve everything He planned and purposed for you. His yoke really is light. Try it on for yourself.