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?