Today’s guest post comes from my friend, Kevin Haggerty. He’s a Christian, husband, dad, web/graphics designer, writer, and MMA blogger. Kevin and his wife, Kim, are going through a year where they:
Both lost their jobs, and
Welcomed their son, Aidan, into the world. Through it all, hard as it’s been, God has been there.
I’m a pretty nice guy.
As a kid, I was probably somewhat of a pushover. I am the oldest of seven kids. I was obedient. I didn’t get in a lot of trouble. I held the line. I was essentially next in command if the boss went down.
I also have always been an introvert, though that is not something I’ve understood about myself until very recently in life.
Because of those factors, I generally kept to myself and avoided conflict as a child. In high school, I wasn’t a lot different. Though I started to stand up for myself a little, I was very much still going through a process of self-discovery.
The truth is that I probably took more crap than I needed to for the first 18 or so years of my life.
It was somewhere along that point in time that I started to become acclimated with anger. It was my out. My new savior.
It was my superpower.
As I grew older, my anger became exacerbated by life experience. I suffered much loss in my late high school and my college years. I grew jaded. I was angry with God.
I was angry with everyone.
For several years after college, I ignored and avoided my path. I drank heavily. I never got into drugs or anything else more serious, but I could drink with the best of them.
I didn’t get in a lot of fistfights, but as an introvert who has been told once or twice he may be slightly clever, I developed a taste for cutting people down with my words. I could out-joke, out-insult and just generally outdo anyone in a verbal altercation.
And as I embraced and became more talented with my anger, it took me over.
I realized that I had become something and someone I didn’t like. No one else liked me either. Not really.
Thus began the path back to redemption as a human being.
I’ve been blessed to have met my wonderful wife, Kim, who has taught me much about being patient and slow to anger. Essentially, if she can put up with my crap, I should be able to put up with a lot more.
We also had our first child, Aidan, about 8 months ago. It’s changed my life forever, and it’s also taught me about patience.
But I’m not out of the woods. I wish I could say I was all better, but once anger gets embedded in your heart, it’s difficult to get it out. When I drive, when I’m in line, when I’m out in public, period — I constantly grapple with my anger and my tongue.
What it comes down to is this: It isn’t worth it, and it doesn’t really hurt anyone but myself.
It impacts all my relationships, particularly the most important one: That being the relationship I have with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I can’t be real with Him if I’m an angry person. I can’t be used by Him if I’m angry. Not because He’s incapable of doing so, He just chooses not to. If I’m an angry person, I miss out on blessings He has for me. Not because He is punishing me, but because He, in His infinite wisdom, knows that I simply cannot handle those blessings when I’m living in unrepentant anger.
I’m not there yet, but I’m trying.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
It’s okay. I don’t either.