Gambling & Hustling




I really am having an excellent month. I attribute it to reading the Bible every day. And DOING what it says. I must admit. It is VERY hard.

I quit gambling and hustling. I’m finding that this is one of the hardest things I’ve done throughout my incarceration. There are lingering effects.

For example: Today I had three guys knock on my door. They all wanted to gamble on football. I told them,”Nawww, I’m good this week.”

Well one guy still owes me. And we have this unspoken etiquette regarding “action back“. That means he expects me to bet with him throughout the playoffs and Super Bowl.

He says to me, “What’s up…I can’t get action back?”

What do I say to him? Right away my “compulsive thought” is to say, “I’ve been giving you action back all year. Just pay up…I’m done.”

I’m well aware this response wouldn’t go over too well with ol boy. In the past I would not have cared. I would have said it. So what…if he didn’t like it.

But because I’m experiencing a deeper level of consciousness, and I’m armed with knowledge from the scriptures, I was able to say, “I’m starting a new chapter in life and it does not involve gambling.”

He looks at me like I’m being a smartass.

I tell him, “Seriously.”

He says, “Look man…I got Seattle, whatchya wanna do?”

I see how this is going and I know where it could end up. Dude wants action back. Period. And deep down, I can’t blame him. It’s the right thing to do.

I tell him, “Look, I understand you want action back. But seriously, I’m done gambling. So what do you feel is fair in order for you to go away peacefully?”

I’m expecting him to say $10-$15.

To my surprise he says, “How about we’re just even.”

Again…compulsive thoughts rush to my frontal lobe. I stay composed as I focus on the teachings of Jesus. I remember a Proverb saying something to the effect of…misfortune follows a sinner like prosperity follows the righteous.

In that instant I realize that collecting a debt is the same as gambling. The answer to my dilemma is clear. I cannot turn a blind eye to what I know is wrong. This is a test I really need to pass.

Ol boy really doesn’t expect me to break him even. Who does that? NOBODY!

I reach out, shake his hand and say, “Happy Holidays. We’re even.”

That was 14 hours ago. All day I’ve been thinking about it. One side says…you dumb ass! The other says…you did the right thing.

I could’ve probably bopped that dude for over $100 by the time it was all over.

But that’s not the person I want to be. Those actions are not in accordance with the scripture. Those actions are the results of compulsive thought. Misconduct on any level is a thing of the past. Today I am a new man.



Steven Jennings


Author: Steven & Suzie Jennings

She was raised as a Mormon, and he is a convict serving 43 years in prison. This blog offers a glimpse into two vastly different worlds that somehow came crashing together. Join them on their journey through prison life & married life.

16 thoughts

  1. For sure you did the right thing. You took the high road. It’s never easy to take the high road, but it’s always the most rewarding in the long run. WTG Steven. So impressed.


  2. WelI have been following your story thru your little brothers post. I have to say old friend you have picked quite a ride for yourself, lol I have say I don’t read much actually at all, but I start your story’s I can’t stop reading. Your choice of words and description are REAL dang man I look forward to the next article. I’m really glad to see that you have USED YOUR TIME wisely. Further more keep on keeping on!!


  3. Actually, men in here do come to me for advice already. I love helping others and being a trusted figure that guys can turn to. My wife and I do not have kids yet. We look forward to the blessings & joys of parenthood.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s