This time of year, many people are preoccupied
with thoughts of giving and receiving. We make gift
lists and spend time buying, wrapping, and
delivering gifts. As we receive Christmas gifts, we
may keep some, we may decide to pass some on. The
second option is what is called re-gifting.
Most people have at one time or another
re-gifted. What is re-gifting? Re-gifting is taking
a gift you have previously received and giving it to
someone else. For many, re-gifting is taboo.
However, it has become a common practice in our
society. Do you know how the words "re-gift" and "regifter"
came into English usage? It's actually a very modern
word. In a 1995 episode of Seinfeld called "The
Label Maker," the character Elaine called another
character a "re-gifter." And the word stuck. I'm
sure that in the last 19 years you've used the word
once or twice yourself.
But what do you think about the act of re-gifting?
Of taking a gift that you've received and giving to
someone else? Do you think it a bit tacky? Do you
think it's okay… as long as you don't get caught?
For years now, Bonnie and I have re-gifted the
same item back and forth with good friends in
Nebraska. Somewhere along the way in ministry, I was
given a large (and unattractive) knick-knack of a
lighthouse. Our friends were serving as co-workers
with us at the time, and they thought it was just so
funny. When they came to visit with us at our house,
they would always ask where we were displaying the
lighthouse. We weren’t.
Since they seemed to love it so much, Bonnie
and I re-gifted it to them. And from that point on,
any holiday with gift exchanges, that lighthouse has
traveled back and forth between. I even smuggled it
into their house during our last visit to them in
Nebraska, set it on a shelf behind some other
knick-knacks, and they didn’t find in for nearly a
week. The lighthouse was left in another state only
to have it show up in our
mailbox months later on our wedding anniversary.
That’s correct...I still have it. For now!
But how does the idea of re-gifting apply to our
walk with Christ? Well, in a sense, God tells us
that He wants us to re-gift. As believers, we’ve
been given many gifts from God. Rather than keeping
them all to ourselves, God intends for us to re-gift
them to others. Not necessarily with that ugly
Christmas sweater you don't particularly like or the
neck ties you keep getting, but with the gifts that
God has given to you. No, He doesn't want you to
give away all that you have, but He does want you to
take the gifts that He's given and share them with
In Matthew 10:8, Jesus told His disciples, “FREELY
YOU HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE.” Friends, if we have
become selfish, hoarding all of the blessings of
salvation for ourselves, we need to ask God for
forgiveness. The best way to enjoy the blessings
we’ve received from Jesus is to give them away to
In Acts 20:35, we have a quote from Jesus we
do not have in any of the four Gospels. Somehow,
Paul was aware that Jesus once said, “It is more
blessed to give than to receive.” In other words,
we’re happier giving than getting. The principle is
not only biblical, it is not only from the Master,
is it also true. What parent hasn’t experienced the
truth of this saying?
So this Christmas season, let’s purpose in our
hearts to give freely of the blessings God has
freely given to us. Freely we have received—now
freely we can give! Who would have thought
re-gifting was biblical?
[Ron Otto, preaching minister
Lincoln Christian Church]