As culture screams at us to work harder, sleep less, and accomplish more, Jefferson Bethke has a very simple response: “To hell with this.”
He’s not being flippant. He means it so literally that he wrote a book about it: To Hell With The Hustle: Reclaiming Your Life in an Overworked, Overspent, and Overconnected World.
Bethke’s subtitle catches it all; we certainly are an overworked, overspent, and overconnected society. We don’t know how to be quiet, disconnect, or rest. We keep ourselves moving and producing at an inhuman rate. Literally, at an inhuman rate – we are beings, not machines, yet we act like the latter.
This pace and demand is not of God. This is not the way Jesus walked. Bethke argued:
“Jesus was never in a hurry. Jesus was the fully human one. The prototype of all humanity. And I think we can pretty easily see that he was someone actively resisting cultural pressures, on many levels. Hustle isn’t in him. And if hustle isn’t in him, there’s only one other place it could come from. Hell. The curse. The source of death.”
While he easily could have written a book that simply said to hell with our hustle culture, Bethke didn’t leave it at that. Instead of writing something rooted in condemnation, he wrote a battle cry for weary Christians looking to turn from the cultural grind to walk in the ways of Jesus.
One of the foundational points made in To Hell With The Hustle is that we are always being formed, whether we are aware of it or not. Knowing this is critical to choosing whether we will give in to the hustle or choose to follow in the footsteps of Jesus instead. Awareness of our continual formation allows us to decide what we are being formed into.
We are able to resist being always on and place limits in our lives. We are able to start choosing faithfulness over busyness. We are able to embrace the quiet, even when it feels awkward. We are able to say no to things that keep us from faithfully following Jesus. And, we are able to be kind and empathetic to those around us when culture doesn’t slow down long enough to even notice them.
If you, dear Christian, have looked at the hustling world around you and recognized that it doesn’t match the pace of Jesus, if you are exhausted from trying to keep up, this book is for you. It will encourage you to look at the life of Jesus and to say with Bethke,
“To hell with the hustle. I’ll take him instead.”
Click here to learn more about the book or to order.
This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts.