Antonio was a cocky man. He had the “high- paying job”, the nice truck, the nice home and my, oh my, did he ever have the ladies bowing at his feet. He was the most handsome ever and he knew it. He wore his pride proudly every day. Now Antonio did go to church and he did pay his tithes faithfully. In his eyes, this is why he was so blessed. He gave to the poor and participated in fundraisers so of course, in his eyes, he was blessed. But what Antonio loved most was being in the spotlight of it all. His name was known and he loved that. Every time he opened his mouth, he was bragging and boasting about something. He loved being the man the women flocked to and fought about. He loved being known to have plenty of loot in the bank. He loved being known to pay the most in church. He was THE MAN and he loved being THE MAN.

Soon, Antonio’s arrogance came off as irritating to many. The women begin to despise seeing him walk their way. They began to turn their heads. His conceited ways had ended up being a major turn off. No one wanted to entertain his conversations anymore because they were only based on “him” and what he had done or what he had gotten. They despised for him to participate in anything because he would take complete ownership of everything. He took it as both men and women being jealous so he couldn’t care less. That was another thing about Antonio – the world thought he cared but he had a heart cold as ice. He did everything for the show. He did keep going to church and of course, he kept paying his tithes faithfully.

One day, Antonio took sick. He didn’t want to miss work but he had to because his health was really at risk. His bills started getting behind. His savings was gone. His looks began to deteriorate. He wasn’t so handsome anymore. He missed days quite often. A short time later, still feeble and sick, he came in to work only to find out that they decided to let him go. A short while after that, his nice vehicle was repossessed. He tried to find a job but no one called him back. Unemployment benefits weren’t enough to help him. He ended up losing his nice home. He ended up having to move in with an aunt – one who he had shunned for so many years. He often had to borrow her car from time to time to get back and forth. Antonio became bitter and even sicklier.

On his dying bed, Antonio lay in a gaze. He had no one by his side. God came to him and he asked, “God, how could you allow these bad things to happen to me? I went to church. I paid my tithes. I gave to the poor.” God told Antonio, “My son, you did all of this for the glory of YOURSELF and not for the glory of ME. You gave to just be seen by others. You showed off just to be seen by others. You became trapped by your own arrogance.”

You can find the moral of this story in 1 Corinthians 10:31 which states, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -S.L.M.



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