Confessions of a Crappy Christian — Where Do I Get My Worth?

Blake GuichetBy Blake Guichet10 Minutes

Content taken from Confessions of a Crappy Christian © 2022 by Blake Guichet.

Chapter 2
Where Do I Get My Worth

“If you don’t know your own value, somebody will tell you your value, and it’ll be less than you’re worth.” – Bernard Hopkins

If you haven’t gathered by now,  I’m a bit of a  go-getter. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember, like when I tried to sell rocks from my parents’ gravel driveway instead of lemonade because, well, the rocks were right there. Or the time I read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy as a  ten-year-old simply because my teacher told me it would be too difficult of an undertaking. I’d organized more events, led more debates, and owned more businesses by the age of thirty-two than some people do in their lifetime. I’m overly energetic, which is why I’ve been completely caffeine-free for the last five years because it just puts me into complete and total overdrive. I like to get stuff done, and wasting time is the most surefire way to make me go crazy.

Right out of college I landed a pretty cushy job as an inside salesperson for a pipe-fitting company (yep, pipes). It was the furthest thing from my dream job, but it paid the rent and offered health benefits so I took it, knowing it would be a stepping-stone to the right position. I don’t think I lasted a full year before I moved into a management job at a local boutique. I worked there for about a year before taking a job managing a fitness center. I didn’t last quite a year there before I decided it was time to go ahead and do my own thing. Clearly the traditional office job route was just not going to be my jam.

In the course of the next five years I opened a wedding planning company, coordinating upward of forty weddings a year – one when I was  thirty-six weeks pregnant. When it became clear that having a husband with a demanding job and two little ones under two and a half wasn’t jiving with working at a wedding every weekend, I transitioned the business into a graphic design firm. I started by working on wedding products and eventually moved into branding for small businesses. From the outside looking in, I was less traditionally busy because I wasn’t out of the house four weekends a month, but in reality, I was busier than ever. I was designing and meeting with clients all hours of the day and night while trying to wrangle two kids and care for a home and a husband. All of that still wasn’t “enough,” so I added writing and Instagramming onto the ever-growing list of things I was working on. I launched a blog and began putting up multiple posts a week. I then began curating Instagram content with the hopes of growing a platform that might eventually provide some additional income and perhaps even bring along a book deal (I’d wanted to write a book since I was a little girl). Right around this point in my ever-changing work situation, things started to go a little wonky. Not only were my motives completely  off-  kilter, my definitions were as well.

Hard work and hustle are often considered synonymous, but in actuality they are nearly opposites of each other. In fact, back then I just assumed hustling meant you were working really hard. I was also pretty sure the Bible talked about working hard in a couple of places so like . . . we’re good, right? Except no, we very much were not.

I think it’s important to differentiate the two from the get-go, and while I thought about using Webster’s traditional definitions of the two terms, the more I looked at them, the more I realized they lacked the lived experience that fleshes them out and distinguishes them from one another. So how about some good, old-fashioned, lived-in, Crappy Christian definitions?

THE HUSTLE

Get up and grind.
Go get what you want.
Work while they rest.
It doesn’t matter if you get tired, keep going.
Don’t take no for an answer.
You are the hero in your story.

Do any of those statements sound familiar? That may be because every single one was pulled off a different cute little graphic I found on Pinterest. That is the hustle, friend— one of the most self-centric ways to live. It’s exhausting and demanding and never stops because if it did, you might fail. And failure is death. The hustle requires everything of you and will never, ever let you believe that a no or a closed door could be the best thing to happen to you. The hustle puts it all on your shoulders. It  makes you assume that other people are unreliable because they’re likely out to get what you’ve worked for. You were born to pull yourself up by your bootstraps no matter what lot life has handed you. At the end of the day, the hustle is all about you  and what you can accomplish. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, your health is failing, or you haven’t played with your kids in a week. It’s always demanding: Are you getting out there and getting what you want?

HARD WORK

When I first started speaking out about hustle culture, I got a fair share of pushback from people who were still within its walls. I got DMs on Instagram telling me that I was anti- woman, that I didn’t want women to be successful — which if you know me is humorous. A lot of the negative feedback I got felt . . . personal. As if people felt like I was coming for them directly when I spoke up about hustle culture. I suspect they resented that I was openly threatening the false god of success, and — oo boy —
people don’t like it when you come for their idols. (I speak from personal experience.) When your identity is wrapped up in what you do and how well you do it, it’s uncomfortable to have someone come poking their nose into your business, telling you  that stuff will never complete you. I’m a big believer that freedom is often on the other side of what makes us uncomfortable, but I also get that this message can feel threatening to those who’ve built their lives around the messaging of the hustle.

ARE YOU WORKING HARD OR HUSTLING?

If you are tired and burned out in the pursuit of whatever you’re going after, I invite you to ask yourself some questions. Whose glory are you working for? (Yep, there is that question again.) What’s the motivation behind what you’re building? And are you working for Jesus and His Kingdom or for glory on earth? If the answers point back to yourself, you may have the heart of a hustler who loves Jesus, but your motives have gotten off-kilter somewhere along the way. The good news is this: All it takes to get back on track is to fix your eyes on Him until the answer to all three questions is simply Jesus.

Some content taken from Confessions of a Crappy Christian by Blake Guichet. Copyright © 2022. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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