“Donny, why do you argue so much?” (Spike TheBarber‘s question has been paraphrased).
We’re all influenced by our past. My mom (who is my friend on Facebook and will see this and be okay with me saying it) was very loud growing up. She was a stay-at-home mom who dedicated every waking moment to my brother and I. Arguments in our home were not taken the same way arguments are taken by others – I simply don’t see them the same way some people see them. To me, it’s just another form of communication. Regardless of the decibel level, I never had any doubt that my mother loved me. I never took long-term offense to the things that were said in screaming matches. My mother and I have many issues between us, but neither of us doubts the love we have for each other.
I would prefer to call it “discussing,” but feel free to label it “arguing” if you must. It’s a HUGE part of how I process, how I share and how I LEARN. I’m not called to be a Pastor. I’m Donny. When invited to speak, I talk about porn and God’s grace and forgiveness… things He has done for me (and you). On Facebook and blog posts/comments, I talk about theology based on what I’ve learned and studied. I’m not your pastor or counselor. I’m Donny. I’m not a leader, as some seem to believe. I’m Donny. I once led a shockingly sinful lifestyle, by human standards, from which God has brought me out. “By human standards” are the key words in that last sentence. By God’s standards, your sin is just as “shocking.” Being pulled out of the stinky pit I was in doesn’t make God’s grace for me any greater or less than His grace for YOU. I’m amused, and admittedly more than a little flattered, that some people seem to be fascinated by what has happened in my life.
If I say something to you that you find insulting, just know that 5-10 minutes from that time I’ll be ready to give you a hug, buy you a beer (root, if you’re Pentecostal and against drinking – LOL) and talk about the 49ers. Some of the people I love most have heard very insulting things escape my lips. Only two exceptions: my son Caden, who has never once experienced my voice raised to him, or harsh words aimed at him, and my Pastor Bill, who has so much of my respect that I simply can’t insult him – I can’t put into words what Bill and his wisdom has done for me. Every other person I care about has probably experienced my sharp tongue (and it’s not that I don’t respect them, too… I can’t explain it).
An admission: I get even more “argumentative” than normal when under stress, and I feel like I’m under an EXTREME amount of stress right now. When it passes, I’ll write about it (don’t I write about EVERYTHING? LOL). It might pass by this time next week, or it might drag on for months… I just don’t know. Pray for me.
Know this: I love Jesus. I’ve never been so sure in my life that I want to be sold out for Him. Fortunately, who HE is has no bearing on how argumentative Donny Pauling happens to be. Thank God for that. 🙂
PS: I’ve actually gone to counseling and discussed this part of my personality with a psychiatrist, which helped a bit…