a real dilemma

Again today I heard from a guy who needs my help. I am not in community with this man. He doesn’t attend our church. I haven’t heard from him since the last time he contacted me looking for help. He ignored my advice back then and the result is – he is now in more trouble.

Here’s the dilemma: if I give this guy time and try to help him (along with the several others in similar situations), I won’t have the time or resources to help people that I am in relationship with – people who are committed to me and our church family. Literally, I am not able to do both.

So, who do I neglect and who do I help? I know well the verse that Jesus teaches in Matthew 18 about leaving the 99 sheep in order to rescue 1. But in this case, the 99 also need rescuing. Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost. I want to join him in that. But many of the lost are right here in my tribe. A “yes” to this guy and others like him is a “no” to the people I do life with.

I hope not to be coming across with a messiah complex. But I seriously don’t know how to balance these issues.

Any advice?

4 Replies to “a real dilemma”

  1. Well, the bible also tells us to love our neighbor, which are those we come across in everyday life, Christian or not.

    A word of balance, it would be possibly a victory to point him to another who might help him more readily. Someone possibly who could tend to his need with better precision. Kind of like the inn keeper in the parable of the good samaratin. Get him healthy, then point him to someone else he may be better aquianted with who could better serve him.

    I had this boss once who used this often. It’s called “Outscource”, a delegation technique. Whenever I’d ask him a question he’d point me to someone else who might be an expert or share strong gifts in the area of question. It worked cause I got want I wanted and so did he. And eventually, I stopped asking him questions and just thuoght of who I knew was an “expert” in the area.

    Just a thought…

  2. Here’s another view from an classic Christian.

    Charles Spurgeon on spending yourself for Christ:

    People said to me years ago, ‘You will break your constitution down with preaching ten times a week,’ and the like. Well, if I have done so I am glad of it. I would do the same again. If I had fifty constitutions I would rejoice to break them down in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. You young men that are strong, overcome the wicked one and fight for the Lord while you can. You will never regret having done all that lies in you for our blessed Lord and Master.


  3. Delegation is good. If the person is serious about changing, he or she will accept input from someone other than you.

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