Hustle, Charlie Hustle!

charlie hustleBrett McKay, from the “Art of Manliness,” challenges men to hustle. In the spirit of Mark Chanski’s Manly Dominion or Owen Strachan’s Risky Gospel, McKay (with a few more expletives) challenges men to stop making excuses and hustle. He makes his point by observing how leaders in history hustle. He writes,

Looking at the men that I admire from history, they all have one thing in common: they were hustlers. Theodore Roosevelt accomplished an insane amount of work because he lived the strenuous life, i.e. hustled. Thomas Edison patented thousands of inventions and perfected the light bulb because he spent all day hustling. Frederick Douglass was an orator, diplomat, newspaper editor and author because he hustled. And pretty much every self-made man has the same story.

With a few personal anecdotes McKay makes a strong case that true men do not passively wait for good things to happen. They make things happen. Over all his article is worth reading, with a few caveats.

  1. Hustle will accomplish much on earth, but unless a man abides in Christ, he will accomplish nothing of eternal value. As John 15:5 says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Likewise, Jesus said in Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” In short, hustle can make great earthly gains, but it is insufficient for heavenly treasure (cf. Matt 6:19-21).
  2. Similarly, this “world may belong to those who hustle,” as McKay says, but the age to come still belongs to the meek. Against the worldly wisdom that the world belongs to those who work for it, Jesus says the earth will ultimately be given “as an inheritance” (i.e., a gift) to the meek (Matt 5:5).
  3. Meekness and hustle are not mutually exclusive in the life of a Christian. God created a world where hard work is rewarded, and rightfully so. Proverbs speaks often about the dangers of idleness and the blessings of diligence. But no amount of hustle, work, or wisdom can earn a place in God’s eternal kingdom for men born “in Adam” (Rom 5:18-19). Christ alone gained the kingdom through hard work. Why? Because he alone worked without sin. For him, he gained the whole world by way of his perfect righteousness. For the rest of us, sin invites God’s wrath and misdirects our work.
  4. That said, hustle, hard work, and endurance are societal norms for the kingdom of God. While hustle will not earn the kingdom, it is a value esteemed in the kingdom. Paul says in Ephesians 2:10 that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works. Likewise, Paul commended the example of hustle when he compared himself to others saying, “I worked harder than anyone of them” (1 Cor 15:10), but Paul quickly added, “though it was not I, but the grace of God that is within me.”

Therefore, with these caveats in place, we can say that man’s calling is to organize the chaos, build organizations, solve problems, fix equipment, save lives, and serve others with passion, wisdom, and hustle. Passivity and purposelessness are not manly values, and neither are they godly qualities. Real men hustle, and saved by grace and empowered by the Spirit, men of God will hustle in their earthly labors.

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

(HT: Eric Bancroft)

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