I know the idea of re-gifting seems wise to some, while to others it comes across as ungrateful or tacky. Wherever you land on the spectrum of opinions regarding re-gifting Christmas gifts or the like, I’m pretty sure it’s a practice not clearly discussed in God’s Word. (Wisdom principles might apply if you aren’t cautious about removing the original “To” & “From” tags, though — and yes, that really happened.) There are some things Christians should all be re-gifting, though. To hoard them for ourselves actually decreases their value — as well as our ability to fully enjoy them.
Sadly, this is not the quality most professing Christians are known for. What if it were? Would we represent our loving God more accurately — and make Christianity more attractive to the world around us? First John 4:7 and 8 make it clear that when God’s love flows to us, it also flows through us, to other people. In fact, the passage goes so far as to say if we don’t show love, it’s proof that we’re showing our true colors, proving we aren’t really who we say we are—ouch! Christ specifically commands the disciples and husbands to love others in the same way that Christ loved — sacrificially, even to the point of death (John 13:34 and 15:12, Ephesians 5:25).
Appreciating God’s grace in forgiving us requires honestly realizing the depths of sin in our hearts — and humbly appreciating His undeserved favor in our lives. While Christ equates the woman’s love for Him with His forgiveness of her sins, perhaps it was her understanding of how much she had been forgiven that propelled her to show such gratitude (Luke 7:47). Either way, the concept of re-gifting of forgiveness is dealt with quite strongly throughout the gospels, with Christ going so far as to say that if we don’t pass along forgiveness to others, God will withhold forgiveness from us, as well (Matthew 6:15 and 18:35, Mark 11:26).
Really, the Bible teaches us that we don’t actually own anything: All we possess is actually God’s, loaned to us to manage for His glory (Psalm 24:1, 1 Chronicles 29:14). While we aren’t required to live in a communal situation like those in the Early Church chose to do (Acts 2:37-47), followers of Christ ought to be a generous group. When we see others in need, we should demonstrate our love in practical ways (Luke 12:33, James 2:16). To do so is as natural as love and forgiveness flowing from a heart that is humbly appreciative for all that God has done on our behalf (2 Corinthians 8:7-9.
God certainly wants us to delight in the good gifts that He gives us — but He also knows we’ll find the greatest joy in passing them along (Acts 20:35).
Read the Giving Life series
- Making Time for Others, Part 1
- Making Time for Others, Part 2
- What All Christians Should Re-Gift, Part 3