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Trading Toxic Ego for True Satisfaction

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Tim Smith - 700 Club Producer

Chuck and his siblings grew up in Queens, New York, where they attended Catholic schools throughout their childhood.

“So I had nuns, I had priests, and it was just, it was just a lot of rituals and just, it felt empty,” Chuck says.

He believed that God existed, but his faith was superficial.

“It was just something that you said. It's almost like, ‘There's a car over there.’ You know? You knew there was Jesus, but you really didn't know Jesus. I didn't know the Bible, that's for sure.”

As Chuck grew older, he spent more and more time with his friends from school.

“We’d smoke cigarettes, you know, smoke pot and drank and, you know, we're all under age. I started to not liking my parents. My dad was very strict, wouldn't let me do anything, so very rebellious and I'm—I started to grow very independent.”

At 17, Chuck became a bouncer at a strip club.

“People would get drunk all the time. So a lot of fights would always happen. So it was actually fun because, you know, the way I grew up is, there was always fights going on and it was just part of my nature to get in the fights and enjoyed it.”

Chuck was well known for his domineering personality. He would start fights, just for fun. And he controlled and manipulated women. Drugs only amplified his abusive behavior.

“I went from selling the drugs to taking the drugs to – I couldn't be without doing the drugs. Wired out of my mind. I didn't care what person I hurt, I didn't care what girl I made cry, I didn't care what lie I fed somebody. It was just, I just fed off that control. I got off on manipulation. You start to realize that my life – my life sucked! But you're constantly chasing the drugs, the high, the power, the high, the ego, the high, it's constantly chasing. God was never on my radar. I stopped going to church cause I didn't have Mommy and Daddy telling me I have to go. I went on the holidays, ‘Oh, it's Christmas, gotta go to church. Oh, it's Easter, you gotta go to church.’ But I lived for me. And I was so self-centered and so egotistical and I just started to have this hunger for power, for control, for dominance, for money, for fame. And it just goes into this spiral.”

In his 20s and 30s, Chuck worked at several mafia-owned strip clubs in New York. His mantra was “I’d rather be feared than loved.”

“The fear part is, I wanted to earn respect. And I’m going to earn respect however way I’m going to earn it, whether control, whether it be physical, because when you earn that respect, it's a ego trip, it's power that, you know, you get sucked into and you realize that that doesn't satisfy you. You sometimes get to a point – well, you use the word, ‘God, what am I doing?’ I'm living a seedy lifestyle, strung out half the times, falling asleep at the wheel all the time. What am I? I'm not happy."

Chuck moved to Arizona to be near his family, and hoping to leave his problems behind. Soon after the move, his brother invited him to go to church.

“They're singing and they're rejoicing and they're praising the Lord. And all I'm going is ‘There's these Jesus freaks.’ It was strange. And I'm sitting in the front row with them. And the pastor was talking about miracles, and he's saying, ‘People always ask, why aren't there miracles like they were back in the day of Jesus?’ These big things, why is it different now? And here's what he did. I am not kidding you.

“As he answered that, he looked at me and he goes, ‘Cause when God sends you a miracle, you chalk it up to a coincidence.’ I sat in that front row just bawling. I’m like, ‘Wow!’ That was the first day I felt the Spirit. And it was real. Wow! You don’t need to know the Bible to feel the Spirit of God move. And He moved!”  

A few months later, Chuck met Angela. She was a new Christian, and she and Chuck would often talk about her faith.

“She goes, ‘Did you accept Jesus yet?’ And I go, ‘Not really. I hear them talking about it. Why, have you accepted Jesus?’ She goes, ‘Yeah, I've accepted Jesus.’ I go ‘How do you do that?’ And she goes, ‘Just ask him to come into my heart.’ And I said, ‘Jesus, come into my heart.’ I felt the spirit come right in me. I radically changed, in an instant, both my presence, both the way I speak, act, hunger for the Word.”

“I was with him when he was saved,” says Angela, his wife. “And he literally had a physical feeling of the Holy Spirit coming into him, which is awesome!”

“You can't make that up,” adds Chuck. “You can't take this womanizer, degenerate drug addict and go – I spend every waking moment with the love of my life, who's my life, and I love it. We work together, we go on dates together, we vacation together. People say a leopard can never change his spots. They're right!  But God could! How do you go from that point to this point, drug free? I haven't even smoked a cigarette in eleven years, cold turkey, gave it up to the Lord. Everything is gone!”

Chuck and Angela got married in 2002. Today, they own Revelation Real Estate, and love to use their business to tell others about their faith.

“Real estate's just the vehicle and they're going to know about Christ. I'm not ashamed to tell them. And it's my ministry. Real estate's my ministry, and we're just blessed by it.

“‘What has Jesus Christ done for me personally?’ could be summed up so simple. He saved me from me. And he saved me for Him. And it's just, I'll tell you, the feeling is just overwhelming to know that Lord and Savior saved a wretch like me. But He knew the wretch like me. He had a plan.”

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