Standing Together Against the Hustle for Worthiness
An accomplished and talented young woman I know recently shared with me that she was taking a break from social media. She described how every time she picked up her phone her fingers reflexively opened an app that sucked her into a world of comparison. It seemed like everyone she followed was not only chasing their dreams but capturing them in vivid color. Posted with pithy captions for the world to “like” and comment on. She told me it felt like a sharp reminder that she wasn’t keeping up. What had once been a great source of inspiration and connectedness was morphing into a fear of missing out. Becoming a steady drumbeat that she wasn’t doing enough, experiencing enough, accomplishing enough. That she – with all of her proven talent and determination – just wasn’t enough.
Our desire to be noticed is deeply embedded in our hearts. We long for connection to others who see our worth. God designed us for belonging in community where we love and encourage one another to live our best lives. To recognize and acknowledge our collective talents and gifts requires that we see and are seen by others. (Romans 12:5) This is how we spur each other on to do the things we’re made for.
Our need for connection is pure and true, and it runs deep.
But the dark side of our need to connect is how it can fuel our unhealthy belief that the only way to be noticed is by outperforming others. We think we must stand out or stand above to be seen. Comparison and competition settle into the spaces where connection is meant to dwell. And we’re left believing we’ve got to hustle.
Happily, our desire for connection can help guide us out of this trap. When we recognize our sense of competition or twinge of shame at not “measuring up” for what it truly is – a longing to belong and connect – we can stand together against the hustle for worthiness.
Start with standing still before God.
Put aside the hustle long enough each day to simply let God love you. As you are, no performing required. Let Him reach deep inside your heart to the place where the truest pieces of yourself are kept safe from the frenzy of comparison and competition. Where you can bask in the rays of God’s smile and soak up the warmth of His love. A love He pours out on you, exactly as you are. Be ready for this daily encounter to change you and the way you see the world. Because while it might seem as if the battle against hustling for worthiness is an inside job – one that can be handled by you and God alone – it doesn’t stop there.
Let God’s love change your perspective.
It’s true that ending our hustle for worthiness begins with believing that we are enough. And nothing presses that point home more than experiencing the love God has for us personally. But that’s not the finish line. When we fix our eyes on God and believe that He is the source of our worthiness, He gives us the ability to see a glimmer more of what He sees. Not only in us but also in those around us. And what He sees are the gifts and talents of a whole lot of folks who can help one another with their longing for connection and belonging. God’s love helps us shift our focus away from our own striving to matter, and reveals the immense joy that comes from helping each other discover our gifts and find our way out of the hustle. Ask God to help you see others as He does. Then be ready to talk about what you see.
Be generous with your words.
God’s love for us is abundant. The gifts and talents He gives are also plentiful. With no shortage in the supply of either His love or the variety of gifts He gives, we can confidently enter into the work He invites us to do and generously encourage others to do the same. So when you see something, say something. Be generous with the words you use to build others up. Because when we use our words to encourage, inspire, edify, motivate and love others, we are joining in God’s battle against our unnecessary hustle for worthiness. And what better place to be than in a front-row seat to cheer one another on?
Stand together against the hustle for worthiness.
When we embrace the truth that God’s love for us is not tied to our performance, we begin to know and experience our real worth. We gain the confidence we need to take our eyes off of ourselves and retrain them to see the beauty in those around us. The power of speaking up boldly about what we see flows more freely. And as we notice and honor the gifts and talents abounding in one another, giving and receiving words that tell us we matter to God and to the world, we discover the way out of the hustle for worthiness. By standing together, we’re all set free.
Why is it that each time you post you know exactly what I need to be hearing that very minute! Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement to stop the hustle!
Oh, that makes me so happy Eileen! We are definitely on the same wave-length because what I’m writing is what I need to be hearing that very minute! So blessed to know we’re in this together!