If you have been following us for a while, you’d know that we are extremely passionate about helping people live more intentionally. To live intentionally, we must also be intentional with our time. This means we must also be in cadence with the Holy Spirit to be more peace and joy-filled. Ultimately, to be more human…
This week we have Jeff Bethke joining us to share some wisdom and share about his new book, To Hell With the Hustle. This is a very exciting interview because we really believe that society, culture and the world needs to hear what Jeff has to say. The times we are living in right now need to hear this message. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, community, or feeling anxious, tired or burnt out, this will definitely resonate with you. So, let’s get into it!
Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode:
- Our book, A Love Letter Life
- Our marriage Journal, The Marriage Journal
- Jeff’s Book, To Hell With the Hustle
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Three Mile an Hour God by Kosuke-Koyama
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The Story Behind the Title
My wife Alyssa actually came up with the title, To Hell With the Hustle. It is supposed to have a sharp edge, and when we say to hell with the hustle, we mean that literally. My goal in this book is to help you reclaim your life in an overworked, overspent, and overconnected world.
Often, we feel bad about having to say no in order to craft a life that worships Jesus better. But I want to give you permission to say no. We believe hustle and hurry is actually one of Satan's greatest devices and tools.
Let's Dive into the Problem That is Being Identified in To Hell With the Hustle.
Hustle in and of itself is a great and beautiful thing. The Lord wants us to be ambitious. Sprints are okay for a goal you're trying to achieve, but if you don't realize your heart is sprinting to gain something that you'll never gain, that is super detrimental.
The Beginning of the Problem
The beginning of the problem dates all the way back to the invention of the assembly line. You can trace so many cultural values to this because before the invention we were craft-oriented, but the assembly line made it to where we no longer care about people working on a particular task in a deep focused way for a long period of time.
The Conveyor Belt of Spiritual Discipleship
Unfortunately, we have allowed this “assembly line” to infiltrate into church. We invite people to church, but don't go to their home, bring them to an event that is efficient and 45 minutes, someone asks you to raise your hand to accept Jesus, then we put you in a program. It isn't inherently wrong, but is it the best thing?
The question we should always ask is what's the best thing? Can we get better and constantly pursue excellence? The God of efficiency has permeated itself into every facet of our lives.
People in the West, specifically millennials, are being pushed to go faster, hurry and hustle. The pressure is insane. Add spirituality in there, but Jesus doesn't work in an assembly line version. He is a person; he wants people to sit at the table with them.
Social Media and the Hustle
The phone, social media, internet connectivity is all actually the very essence of the hustle. Scriptures make it clear that whatever you worship, you become like. Social media causes people to be fragmented, bite-sized, and non-nuanced. Our attention span is decreasing, and we are becoming more like social media, and are in a hurry more than ever.
The way to combat becoming like the media is to have an active ethic of social media. For example, we have rules for how we interact with our phones and where we take them. Unless you have these disciplines, you automatically lose.
Why are you so Passionate About the Hustle?
Alyssa and I were reaching all cultural milestones, probably quicker than anyone around us. We got married, had jobs, a home, and kids. We were hitting all of the benchmarks but at the end of all that, we were full and weighed down. Our life started to show itself as lacking. We felt fragmented.
Integration vs Disintegration
Disintegration leads to fragmentation; you go everywhere, but you aren't a whole person anymore. We were living disintegrated lives but still being seen as culturally okay. The American dream gets worse and worse, not better and better. You get busier, have more pressure, more responsibility, and so we just started wrestling through that, and we realized we had to make some changes in our lives to be able to integrate.
It was a long year journey where we realized how much of a slave we were to the cultural ethos of hustle and hurry, and we felt like God wanted to make us whole again. That meant letting go of some big things that would cost us a lot of money. That meant big drastic life decisions. We felt the Lord challenging us with the question, "If I asked you to do it, would you trust me to actually take care of it?" And, for a long time, I didn’t trust Him.
Let’s Talk Solutions…
There is a book written by Kosuke-Koyama called 3 Mile an Hour God. He explains how the actual speed when you are walking as a non-anxious presence is literally 3 miles per hour. He argues this is the speed Jesus walked at, and if you go faster than that we aren't walking at the speed of love. Therefore, if you go faster, you aren't loving well. He wants a relationship, not outcomes or efficiency. We must refocus our relationship on being with Him rather than what we can do for Him.
The Speed of Love
I took this concept and used it in my book… There is a speed of love. Jesus is real and he had a specific speed and pace. So many of us concentrate on the teachings of Jesus, but not on the pace of Jesus. They are just as important. When we do both, we learn how to live in the way of Jesus.
So many people say they are walking with Jesus, but they are actually walking ahead of him.
Spiritual Disciplines and Practices
We have lost our value for spiritual disciplines and practices in our culture because often we see them as curses, not as blessings. In my book I bring up these practices and disciplines, some being: The difference between noise and silence. The difference between Sabbath and work. Obscurity and fame.
I talk through the reality that this is a cultural value. But this is a "Jesus value." He wants to make us more into the image of Him… So, we need to be aware of both sides of the coin.
The practices we do are creating us and forming us into a particular kind of person.
Practical Advice for Silence and Solitude
Redeem the small moments throughout the day. For example, instead of looking at your phone at a stoplight, practice solitude. We overestimate what we want to try to do in a day and we underestimate what micro-moments are going to do to us over 10 years.
The micro-moments are forming us.
Silence is a good place to start. Don't expect it to be cute or romantic or awesome. It's not fun, it's horrible. You can't grab onto anything and make yourself feel awesome. Silence is a hump you have to get over to get into full humanness. You have to be okay with the brutality of silence before you can find the beauty of silence. Silence gives you space for you to face up who you truly are, whereas you usually use hustle to fill up or avoid the truth.
Whenever you are silent, you may not like what you see about yourself, but the good news is that at that moment, Jesus meets you and says, “Yes, that is you.” But then tells us that He sees the YOU He saw and died for. He wants to heal and make whole. Until we are honest with ourselves at the feet of Jesus, we can't actually be whole. Silence is the practice of healing and listening. We have to carve in space to listen on purpose.
Start incrementally small when you begin new practices. Jesus is such a process person and we are such results-oriented people. In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, he talks about the incremental little snowballs that make you actually do things better and we become an identity shaped habitual person than as a result-oriented habitual person.
To Be Interruptible
Most of Jesus' healings were healings of interruption. Jesus wasn't aimless. While he was on a mission, he was open to the spirit of God. Most of us are good at one of those; either being good at being driven, mission-focused or really good at being deeply relational.
Hold the tension well and have a clear mission while being open to interruption. Some of us that are more driven don't actually realize that we are saying no to the power of God, or what he wants to do through and in us.
Love Seen in Wastefulness
Be willing to waste yourself on Jesus. Be willing to give yourself wholly to him. Are you willing to look foolish? To be told you shouldn't be doing that or you're more talented than this? We should be willing to waste ourselves for Jesus.
Jesus according to the world, was a waste of talent. He was God Himself roaming the earth, we don't know anything about him before 30, and even when he gets into 3 years of ministry, he was humble and would eventually be crucified. He looked like a failure, but Jesus Himself wasted Himself on us. Love is seen in the wastefulness.
To Those in Transition
If you are in a season of transition, remember that you are not making decisions that are permanent. You are making decisions that are for this season out of obedience to the Lord. So many of us put pressure on ourselves - just experiment! See what brings you health, and what makes you flourish. There will be seasons to say no and another to say yes. It comes back to living intentional spirit-led lives, that has its ebbs and flows. Take things season by season. Make your health the most important thing. You and the Lord, your family, and the Lord, that's gotta be central.
Wow... literally everything Jeff said was so amazing and insightful. Everything was so needed and necessary. The wisdom that he shared with us is so needed for this day in age… His book To Hell With the Hustle is absolutely incredible. If these words resonated with you today be sure to get that book in your hands!