“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).
Christmas will be here in just a few days. Are you scrambling to find that perfect gift for the ones you love? If you are like most, the funds are more limited than the imagination. We can think of many things we would like to give—if only the budget would stretch far enough. It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season only to crash in January when the credit card bills arrive. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Does the Bible offer any advice on Christmas shopping? With apologies to any theologians among us, let’s consider two verses. Romans 12:8 says, “He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity.” While this most likely does not refer to holiday gift giving, it is still a good principle to follow. So is II Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” If we follow the spirit of these two verses, we will not burden our budget with lavish gifts that we cannot afford. We will not give to Susie because she gave us a gift and now we must give her one too. We won’t begrudge giving to Aunt Maude because her gifts are either recycled, garage sale leftovers, or of incredibly bad taste. When we give, it will be with purpose and with joy.
“Regifting,” which most of us have done at one time or another, is when we rewrap something we have received and give it to someone else. (Be careful; you could accidentally regift it back to its original giver. Or, like an unnamed friend of mine, forget to remove the gift card from the previous giver. I never told her, but I did laugh.) I have decided that regifting is a perfectly acceptable and inexpensive way to provide that perfect gift to just about anyone. How, you ask?
What if all of us decided to do some heavenly regifting—passing on to others what God has given to us. Can you imagine packages of—
- Love, abundant love, even for those who are unlovable and may not love us in return. (Read Luke 6:35; John 15:12-13; Romans 12:9-10; 13:8.)
- Mercy and forgiveness. Luke 6:36 says to be “merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Also read Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:7; Mark 11:25.)
- Kindness and compassion. (Read Ephesians 4:32; I Peter 3:8; II Peter 1:7.)
None of the above items, all regifted, will ruin your budget. In fact, you may have so much fun regifting, that you decide to wrap up some encouragement, a little acceptance, perhaps a box of friendship, or even some gentleness and peace. Use your imagination; there are many more gifts to regift.
Let me share a little secret. While some may get insulted if they discover you regifted something they gave you, the Lord will never be insulted if you regift His presents. He wants you to pass on love, forgiveness, compassion, mercy, kindness, and patience. These are perfect gifts, heavenly gifts.
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (I Peter 4:10).
(Other scriptures for study: Luke 6:38; Galatians 6:9-10; Romans 12:6-10.)