Monday, December 8, 2014

Fishing With Trish...

Got Stranger-itis? There's a cure for that.

I have always been a very outgoing person, and talking to strangers has usually been easy for me. A few of my friends, however, were shy growing up, and talking to strangers was painful for them. They had stranger-itis. That’s why it came as such a shock to their family and friends when they got saved and started sharing the Gospel. One friend in particular recalls after becoming a Christian many years ago, her young daughter asking her husband, “what happened to mom?” because there was such a drastic change in her.  She went from totally avoiding strangers, to handing out tracts, and to this day is what my husband calls one of my “partners in crime” as she goes out with me regularly and boldly shares her faith. That’s the power of the Gospel and the desire it puts in us. We go from being dead and fearful, to being alive and bold in Christ, which compels us to share with others. I’ve been asked many times, “Why did you start sharing the Gospel?” to which I answer, “I don’t know. I just got saved.”

I’m not totally immune to stranger-itis though. Once I was on a flight from San Diego to Dallas/Ft. Worth seated in the very back of the plane of a full flight. After 2 1/2 hours, we landed and when the pilot turned off the seatbelt sign I was quick to unbuckle and stand up to stretch my legs. I was glad to be home. Several others got up as well. For five minutes we stood in silence as we waited for the line to move, which took unusually long. I looked in my purse to dig out tracts to hand out, but was struck with stranger-itis and quickly closed it. I repeated the same pattern two more times. One guy looked at me strange as if he saw the struggle going on in my mind. Then I was reminded of Judgment Day and thought about everyone in line giving an account to God. It immediately moved me to action. I grabbed my money tracts and began to pass them out, saying "Did you get one?" and to the next person, "Did you get one?", and to the gentleman that helped me with my what probably felt like a 100 pound bag (it was packed with tracts and books), "Here, thanks a million for helping me!" He smiled. They all did.

After over a decade of sharing my faith, I’m still nervous but I let my compassion for the lost swallow my fears. And I remind myself of what the Proverbs say, “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted” (Prov. 29:25). If I meditate long enough on Hell it moves me to action. It moves me to press pass my fears and share my faith. But if that's not enough to cure your stranger-itis, then be sure to listen to my friend Ray Comfort's message called "Freedom From the Fear of Man":, and then get fishing!

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