January 13, 2023

Bandaging Meaninglessness with Comfort & Hustle

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Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-2

Comfort and hustle–they’re our two newest idols. They might sound opposite but they’re both born out of the same descent into meaninglessness.

Even if you’ve never heard the term “comfort culture,” you’ve probably engaged in it as you relaxed with your phone, mindlessly scrolling through social posts and reels or binged watching shows late in the night out of boredom. A lot of us are “chasing comfort.” Cory Brock and Andrew Kelley write, “Critics of comfort culture are right to point out that idolizing rest is poor stewardship of the time God gives us. While that’s true, the opposite extreme—a hyperproductive lifestyle of optimizing the self—can be just as erroneous and disappointing.”[1]

That hyperproductive lifestyle, so called “hustle-and-grind ideology” goes beyond just hard work. It’s the idea that you can create a “tougher, harder, more successful, more complete [self]– through relentless self-improvement.”[2] Think Cross-fit and productivity podcasts.

These responses to life reflect that, apart from a God that we can be in relationship with, we’ve only got ourselves to rely on to create meaning in life and that’s depressing. Are you “wanting and weary”? If you’ve drifted into comfort or hustle culture, Jesus says you will find meaning and freedom from having to save yourself, in Him. To those who follow Him, He says, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-2) and “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

[1] Brock, Cory, and Andrew Kelley. “How Comfort Culture and Hustle Ideology Fill the Meaning Gap.” The Gospel Coalition, 14 Dec. 2022, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/comfort-culture-hustle-ideology/.

[2] Ibid.