What does loving the lost really mean?

We just helped a young woman get back to Hawick and provided her with food and power. Over our eleven months here, we’ve helped her about seven times, usually with a food parcel. Various aspects of her life are a mess (her words). She seems like the kind of person The Salvation Army would have helped in its early days. Yet what does loving her really mean?

We can continue providing food and power, but I’m not sure it’s making much difference to her situation. We are suspicious of how she spends her money, both in terms of general financial management and possible “substances” (although we get mixed messages on this from other agencies).

She seems to get involved in potential dangerous company. We believe she is deeply unhappy with her situation, but she sees no hope and so far has not really allowed us to get to know her properly. What does loving her really mean?

I know ultimately she needs Jesus, and she says that whilst she’s been out of town she’s gone to church. But is this true, or just to butter us up? And are we really helping or just perpetuating her problems?

In the context of such people’s messy lives, what does loving the lost really mean?

What a Mighty God we Serve!


About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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