One afternoon while gift wrapping, my children got into the Christmas spirit and scurried upstairs with my scraps of wrapping paper. They were busy for hours until they came down carrying little packages strangely resembling tiny toys from their rooms.
An arm from an action figure poked through the wrapping paper. A doll’s bottle peeked out from a small scrap held together with too much tape. Tiny cars and doll blankets were in their wrapped bundles.
With their faces beaming they offered their gifts. My heart melted as I saw the joy of giving in each one of them. How can a mom argue with that? It was re-gifting at its finest.
Re-gifting used to be taboo. Not anymore. Now there are websites extolling its virtues with re-gifting rules to follow. You no longer need to wait for a Yankee swap to share those treasures you can’t use.
You can re-gift from your abundance to bless someone rather than have items sit around gathering dust.
So as we think about sharing from what we have been given, what would spiritual re-gifting look like?
In the book of Acts after the Holy Spirit whooshed through the upper room, Peter preached a mighty sermon and many came to Christ. Then Peter and the others came upon a man begging near the temple gate.
Peter told him he didn’t have silver or gold, but he wanted to share what he did have with the lame man. Then he healed him in the name of Jesus Christ. The man leaped and praised God and went into the temple with them.
Peter gave away what he had received – Jesus. He had taken to heart the conversation he had when Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love me? Tend My sheep.”
Jesus always meets our deeper need. The lame man didn’t need money; he needed to be restored. Peter understood, because He needed to be restored too after denying Jesus and feeling the weight of his weakness.
Spiritual re-gifting means giving away what we have received in Christ: Gifts of mercy, joy, grace, forgiveness, hope, love, encouragement and the message of Jesus that transforms lives. It means loving your neighbor Jesus-style.
And, when we give away the gifts we’ve received, they multiply. Because we can’t out give God. As we pour out into other’s lives, God refills our vessel. When we love someone, we feel loved. When we encourage, we feel encouraged.
Have you experienced this too?
Several months ago we visited a friend in a nursing home who wasn’t doing well. He expressed a desire to eat some Chicken Pad Thai so we brought some for he and his wife. The nursing staff set us up at a table and we gathered around a meal together. Our friend ate heartily and enjoyed every bite.
By sharing this meal with him, my heart was filled with joy. I think I benefited more than he did. This is the essence of spiritual re-gifting.
So what have you received from God that you can re-gift today? Matthew 10:8 says, “Freely you have received; freely give.” Jesus calls us to love on one another with the love we have received from the Father.
As we give away grace, love, hope…we encourage someone with a kind word or deed. When we give it away, we receive it back one hundred fold.
When we re-gift these gifts to others, they may not look perfect. Like my children’s gifts, they may be bound with scraps of paper and too much tape, but our Heavenly Father sees the joy of giving in our faces, and I know it melts His heart.
How can you re-gift His blessings today?
Jeanne Doyon writes and speaks from the heart, connecting the Truth of Scripture to everyday life. She teaches at women’s retreats and events throughout New England. She is pretty good at juggling after all these years and still loves being a mom to Brad, Heather, and Alicia who all made it safely to adulthood. Connect with Jeanne at JeanneDoyon.com