walked slowly over to a white board on the wall. He picked up a felt marker and wrote three words: “Let it go.” Then he walked back to his chair and sat down.

I won’t lie and tell you that this pivotal moment stopped all of my worry. It didn’t. But it did help me catch my spiritual breath and begin healing. Let me share three thoughts that have helped in my struggle to drive a stake in the heart of this monster.

1. It’s important to discern the difference between the loving, healthy conviction that God brings to us through his Spirit and unhealthy worry. Remember that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” Anytime a worry lingers but doesn’t resolve into a healthy, productive conclusion, it’s a safe bet that God is not involved. It is very easy for us to stay preoccupied with negative stuff. Such a focus keeps us from being productive for God.

2. I appreciate the words of a man who himself had committed plenty of sins and hurt lots of people. Paul had jailed and murdered a multitude of Christians before he accepted Jesus himself.

What a burden to carry! Can you imagine how many times he must have looked out at an audience and caught the eye of a woman whom he had widowed? How many young people did he preach Jesus to whom he had orphaned? And don’t you suppose that Paul wondered over and over, “Paul, you hypocrite! What right do you have to preach when you are the worst of the bunch?” Paul had to deal with this. I suspect he frequently drenched his pillow with tears and filled his waking hours with self-loathing. But instead of melting into a pity puddle, he saw the big picture.

These words from the good apostle have brought a lot of us through some deep waters. “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

3. Lastly, I am learning to judge trees by their fruit. For instance, what if Paul was convinced that he was unworthy to minister? Who would have evangelized the first-century Greek world? Who would have written a dozen of the New Testament books? Who would I look to for real world advice on how to overcome worry when it tends to decimate me?

Thank you Paul for showing me how to say boldly, “Jesus’ grace is sufficient for even me.”

Steve Diggs has presented the No Debt No Sweat! Money Management and ReTooled & ReFueled Essential Life-Skills Seminars over 500 times at churches, colleges, conferences, employee groups, and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve at www.NDNS.org, www.RetooledAndRefueled.com or www.SteveDiggs.com or call 615-834-3063.  The author of seven books, Steve has been a TV commentator, syndicated columnist, minister, and, today, is a fulltime speaker.  For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four grown children whom they have home schooled.  The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar teaches God's people how to use God's money God's way. More at www.NDNS.org.

ReTooled & ReFueled: The Essential Christian Life-Skills Seminar shows Christians how to live for the beautiful bye and bye—while dealing with the nasty now and now.  More atwww.RetooledAndRefueled.com.