The Joy of Giving and Receiving at Church

Giving gifts in the Church

I recently had the opportunity to attend a church service with my childhood friend. The Church was a vibrant and diverse community, with people from different backgrounds, including the Union of Myanmar, Chinese, Karen, Kachin, and Chin. The moment I arrived, I was greeted with warm hugs, making me feel instantly welcomed.

During the service, the Pastor graciously allowed me to share my testimony. I spoke about the honor of receiving an award from Turkey, and how it served as a testament to the hard work and dedication I have put into various endeavors. Little did I know that this would lead to an unexpected gesture from the Pastor.

At the end of the church program, the Pastor expressed his intention to give me some pocket money. Initially, I politely declined, not wanting to impose or take advantage of their generosity. However, the Pastor insisted and handed me $300 as a token of appreciation. I was taken aback but ultimately accepted the gift, realizing that it was a heartfelt gesture from the church community. I handed it to my friend and asked him to put it back in the church offering.

As I reflected on this experience, I realized that I have a fear of misconceptions and judgments surrounding receiving financial support from the church. Some individuals had wrongly accused me of relying on church money and living on Church property. One of our houses in the US is like a castle, and some people from other nations think that the property is a church building. In the US, there are residential and commercial zones. Church property is typically found in a commercial zone, they are not aware that no human can live in a commercial zone.

Since I was young, I have dedicated myself to the church considering myself serving the Lord volunteering my time and efforts without expecting any compensation. I have worked hard many times, whether it was during the summer when school was closed or when the church was being built, putting in effort day after day. I never expected to earn pocket money, and I have never received a salary from the church in my life.

Receiving this pocket money was a significant moment for me. It made me question why I had allowed fear of others’ opinions to influence my decision. In reality, accepting gifts is not only permissible but also a common practice in American law. The tax exemption threshold of seventeen thousand dollars per year further supports this notion.

From that day forward, I made a conscious decision to embrace gifts graciously. Instead, it allowed me to experience the joy of giving and receiving, in accordance with biblical teachings.

Working diligently throughout the year, I strive to make a difference and contribute to society. I am not driven by personal gain but rather by the desire to give back and make a positive impact. As the year ends, I diligently calculate my earnings and expenses, ensuring that I can make meaningful donations.

In the end, it is the act of giving that brings true fulfillment. Luke 6:38 reminds us that when we give, we receive abundantly. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 emphasizes the importance of giving from the heart, without reluctance or compulsion, as God loves a cheerful giver. Acts 20:35 echoes this sentiment, stating that giving is more blessed than receiving.

My experience at the church reminded me of the joy of giving and receiving. It taught me to embrace the generosity of others and to continue working hard to help those in need. May we all find the courage to give and receive with open hearts, knowing that it is through these acts that we can make a difference in the world.

Receiving this pocket money was a significant moment for me. It made me question why I had allowed fear of others’ opinions to influence my decision.

– Levi Sap Nei Thang


Photo: Levi Sap Nei Thang in front of her previous house in the US (below)

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Levi Sap Nei Thang is not associated with any religious organizations or churches. The articles are posted solely for reading purposes only. The artworks and images usage required $5,000 for pre-approved and $50,000 without prior approval. All rights reserved.