Is it better to give or receive?
Growing up, my parents always taught my siblings and me about the value of lending a hand, helping a neighbor, and serving others.
Living in a small community, I learned that to give and share with others is better than having something only to myself. The less we had, the more we should want to share with others. It was a hard idea to learn at first.
If I have less, then shouldn’t I want to keep everything for myself? No, they said. We have to learn to look outside ourselves and see that others are lacking too. That I have to learn how to be grateful for the small things that we do have.
I told my parents that it didn’t make sense and that’s why we continue to be poor. That we need to be a bit selfish in order to get ahead. They asked me where I learned such a terrible attitude from and asked me: is that what Jesus taught us to do? I froze. They were right. What would Jesus do in that situation?
What would Jesus do?
This is something I ask myself every time I am conflicted about a decision. I ask myself, ‘what would Jesus do? What would he choose?’ This also works when I don’t feel motivated to do something. I ask myself, ‘what would Jesus do? Would he work, or would he rest?’ It doesn’t work every time, but it’s something that’s stuck with me since I was young.
My mother’s intention in asking me this question was to help me think beyond myself.
Why would we want to give? Giving doesn’t benefit ‘me’ but it is for someone else. It’s me being wiling to do something at a cost to myself, for someone else to be happy and well. And as a believer, this is the commands of God and Jesus.
My Heart of Evangelism
Because of this, I made sure that I am always involved in different community events volunteering. In high school, I even became a volunteer in my local hospital where I was able to assist not only nurses and doctors with basic tasks. I always heard the most interesting and adventurous stories there! This was eventually what motivated me to pursue an education in nursing.
However, my heart of volunteerism and my perception of it grew even more once I became a member of SF Zion.
How? I started not only thinking about Jesus, but also referring to God’s words in order to have a true heart of service towards others. The volunteer work that we do together isn’t just volunteering work, but it is also putting Jesus’ teachings into practice.
Finding Joy in Helping Others
Although we may return sweaty and tired from labor, I always feel joyful after I volunteer. It makes me think of Jesus’ teaching within the scripture, when the disciples recalled in Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak” and they remembered the words the Lord Jesus who said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
I choose to give back to my community because it is the kind of work that was asked of us as believers, and it is good. Just as it says in Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”