AN 9.5 states:
And what, monks, is the power of benevolence? There are four ways of benevolence; by gifts, by friendly speech, by helpful acts and by
bestowal of equity. This is the best of gifts: the gift of Dhamma. And
this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again and again Dhamma
to those who wish for it and who listen attentively. And this is the
best of helpful acts: to arouse, instil and strengthen faith in the
unbeliever; to arouse, instil and strengthen virtue in the immoral; to
arouse, instil and strengthen generosity in the niggard; to arouse,
instil and strengthen wisdom in the unwise. And this is the best
bestowal of equity: if a stream-winner becomes equal to a
stream-winner; a once-returner equal to a once-returner; a
non-returner equal to a non-returner; and an arahant equal to an
arahant. This, monks, is called the power of benevolence.
Therefore, the attempt to give a mundane dhamma gift to a supramundane stream-winner (or higher) is to be rejected.
This is similar to what occurred in MN 140, when the gift of metta by (the unknowing) Pukkusati of calling the Buddha "friend" was later deemed to be inappropriate, thus rejected & the object of confession.
Then the thought occurred to Ven. Pukkusati: "Surely, the Teacher has come to me! Surely, the One Well-gone has come to me! Surely, the
Rightly Self-awakened One has come to me!" Getting up from his seat,
arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, and bowing down with his
head at the Blessed One's feet, he said, "A transgression has overcome
me, lord, in that I was so foolish, so muddle-headed, and so unskilled
as to assume that it was proper to address the Blessed One as
'friend.' May the Blessed One please accept this confession of my
transgression as such, so that I may achieve restraint in the
Yes, monk, a transgression overcame you in that you were so foolish, so muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to assume that it was proper to
address me as 'friend.' But because you see your transgression as such
and make amends in accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your
confession. For it is a cause of growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of
the noble ones when, seeing a transgression as such, one makes amends
in accordance with the Dhamma and achieves restraint in the future.