It’s interesting how Americans keep inventing new words…new terms. One I’ve noticed of recent origin is side hustle. It describes an activity that isn’t the focus of your life, not your livelihood, but something you do on the side. Maybe you’re a builder by day, but after work you mow lawns around the neighborhood – to pay for gas for your car or braces for your kids’ teeth. So mowing lawns is your side hustle. The Uber company solicits people to drive cab for them after work as a side hustle.
So let me ask, what do you do for a living? What is your occupation? What do you do that pays the mortgage and puts food on the table? Where I’m going with this is to challenge the definition I offered in the first paragraph. For instance…
In the Seattle area is a large manufacturing company that hires a dozen or so engineers. One of them fell deeply in love with Jesus and it rearranged the focus of his life. He began gently to share his new love with his colleagues. One by one several of them came to love the Jesus he loves, but they also became contagious. So though they still work as engineers – better, if anything – they also now have a bigger passion, to introduce people to Jesus. I like to think of them as seven new missionaries, cleverly disguised as engineers.
We saw this developed dramatically in the life of a highly successful attorney we know in southern California. His passion is to reach into some of the underprivileged areas of the world and rescue young people, kids, from human trafficking. As he tells it, his law practice generates enough income to fund his real passion. Law is almost a side hustle to enable him to make a difference in his world.
I like that. I think it’s a reproducible concept. Sometimes the apostle Paul is introduced as Paul, the tentmaker. But that’s only marginally true. Paul was a kingdom builder and making tents was his side hustle. That’s what he did as a side line to make enough money to feed his camel.
Please note that using your career as a side hustle isn’t a matter of economics – you don’t have to be wealthy to make it work. It’s an attitude. It’s a sanctified bias that says, “I put my whole heart into what I do to make a living, but the overarching passion of my life is to be useful for His purposes wherever I am and whatever I’m doing.” Everything else is a side hustle.
By Don Jacoben