The God that can be used
It’s a very scary thing to go on a journey to behold The Who behind your eyes. It’s even more scary when the journey has a stop whose sign reads — Who is your God ?
When I started my business, me and God were tight. Very tight in fact. All I wanted to live for was to invest everything in being a physical extension of the God I knew, a Grace grounded God. A God who hounds souls with his gentle spirit. A God whose identity is wrapped and warped in a form of justice that bows down to grace and mercy.
But then 2018 happened. My season of pandemic hit before it hit everyone else. See this graceful God had confirmed to me what the next 10 years of my life would look like. I will be in love and be networking and raising up new leaders. I will have a business that is thriving alongside the woman who loves kids and everything beautiful about mommahood and wifedom.
I know, I keep coming back to my heart being broken. I don’t apologize for it because that is where I am still. One day, I will look back at this season and smack myself for being so shaken. I will see how much of a theme a simple decision on an innocuous day became. For now though, that decision shattered my whole world and even my future in business and philanthropy got a make over.
The truth is, love both the object (my ex fiancé) or subject (my God) left me that day. The latter is where I have come to struggle the most. I thought for so long that I was heart broken by love but the truth is, love became one. Singular. The woman I loved, was also the means to which I loved God. Her departure was as if God had forsaken me.
I no longer knew how to speak to God. Because God hurt. God had been spoilt. God embodies love and love was pain and triggers and everything but mushy, squishy, and kaleesi.
The obvious remnant that applies to today’s musing is what the heck do I do with business, philanthropy and good ole being a physical extension of a graceful God.
The other day on Friday, our first all team’s meeting, I was supposed to have a section to talk about our why. And I copped out. I couldn’t. I couldn’t because I would need to sell a lie that I no longer believed. Maybe it’s not so much that I no longer believed it, maybe it’s more so that it no longer resonated deeply within me. Maybe it’s more so that the vision of charisol — my why was no longer motivating.
Over the course of the last three years. I cut my tithing in half. At the time, the reason was because I was drowning and surely God knew that and wanted to let me see that it doesn’t matter what I give Him, He is still God and He still loves me. But then the last 6 months, I have come out of debt and I have seen my savings roared back but I hear the call to return to my full tithe and I am resisting harder than Jonah. Every month, I say, God if it’s truly you, confirm that you want me to. And every month the desires return stronger.
Charisol also has slowly become a traditional business. It’s well run. We are focused on margins. How to make more, spend less and keep more. Often times, the past promises spring up and I tie them up to future milestones. When we become self sufficient as a business, when we make more than we spend for 3 straight months, when we close 1 new lead every month for 6 months; when team mates have been with the company for 5 years they will become partners; when this and when that.
Here is the truth: my heart has slowly turned from serving Jesus to serving Mammon. I now spend a great desk of time thinking of my promotion at work, my savings growing, my crypto investment surging, my stock market choices and quintessentially — when am I buying my own house ?
Money has swept me up my two feet quite stealthily that I cannot tell the difference. I have always believed that God for whatever reason has chosen to use people but also money. When I analyze how things get done in this world, money is a primary factor in how. So naturally, God must be interested at least in the business of money. I still think He is. I think God uses whatever is effective but He isn’t bound to a single medium.
But there is God using money, then there is man using God for money. The lines between the two can be quite blurred. I am sitting here looking into the future like Nostradamus and the bowl of water; and the one question that keeps ringing within me — what will you be unable to give up should God require it if you ?
Before that, yesterday I was having a conversation with my podcast host Allison. And we didn’t record because the only topics that came up with apologetics and monster topics that need adequate research. The scary thing though was the fact that I couldn’t recognize myself. I was closer to positions that were worse than heresy than I was to truth. Positions that have been slowly percolating this past 3 years. The biggest one is the issue of Paul. I find Paul to be a sexist, self centered, singularly minded and overtly pious irrelevant scholar. In my own folly, I resent him because he is the sole reason for the Christian faith’s inability to resonate or stay relevant. It’s like Paul speed diatribes and we are left trying to make a tribe out of the disgusts left in the wake of his positions.
From homosexuality, to women in the church, to headship, to the exclusivity of salvation. Others hint at it, Paul builds a moat around them. Every study of truth is grey until Paul opens his mouth. Then wiggle room gets clamped shut like a maggot attempting to dance out of a bag of salt.
I personally like the God of the Old Testament because He is sufficiently mysterious and allows for lots of grey areas.
The truth is, I am admitting in plain sight that I want to be my own god. I want to interpret God’s teachings with my own intellect and have wiggle room to decide what truth is, at least what truth is for me.
When we bring it around to my business, you see it’s not really money that I worship. I worship Dolapo. Money is just the means by which Dolapo finds expression and life. Money is to Dolapo what knowledge was to Eve. The opportunity to break away from what is known, what is today. The opportunity to create truth by stitching together whole new sets of facts and experience into a coherent story that I can build my life upon and find the balance between feeling alive and in control as well as keeping my conscience at bay. Because after all, why conscience has a loud enough voice to pierce through satisfaction woven with embroidery from 90–99% truth.
The conversation yesterday, not recorded, opened my eyes to see very vividly where I was at. There is no mistake or ambiguity. I am one choice away from rejecting Christ. I know it sounds dramatic because rejecting Christ sounds like eternal damnation, depression, prosperity and all the other lies that western church peddles.
God is not necessarily physically better. He doesn’t necessarily take pain away. Infact, His answers are more akin to Daniel and his friends. He meets us in the pain and suffering and comforts us. God is like that mom who cannot change the law immediately but visuals everyday and brings companionship + candy.
I have to ask myself, is that enough ? There is a reason Eve saw ‘better’. Better isn’t always viewed through the lens of truth. And in the lens of my current truth, God is only good to get me the bag and to keep as much of it for myself as possible.
Oh. When I let that sink in — God is only good to get the bag and to keep as much of it for myself as possible.
That broke me. How did I get here ? How is this even a thought ? And why did that resonate so deeply? Where is this place that I am and who put me here ?
The natural response is to irk and puke and get away but I am here for a reason and I am glad for one thing:
I will not use God even if that is the only way to grow my ego.
I will accept who I become, who I am because I will own him entirely.
It is more righteous to recognize my use of God and continue intentionally, than to deny my use of Him to continue effectively.