By Gayla Parker, BCM/D WMU Executive Director, Missionary for Missions Education and Customization, Missions Innovator Specialist (WMU, SBC)
It doesn’t take long to learn what family members will do with their Christmas gifts. Our oldest son, Allen, is famous for tucking away any chocolate he receives. In the Philippines, he could make one small bag of M & M’s last six months by tucking them away in the freezer and only eating a few at a time. Needless to say this created quite the temptation for his brothers who emptied their M & M bags within the first 24 hours.
Nathan, our middle son, almost always has to exchange gifts of clothing. He is six foot five inches tall with long arms, big feet, and very much in shape. Need I say more? He is hard to fit!
Jesse would give his gifts away to Filipinos who did not get anything. He was re-gifting before we knew it was even a word.
The Bible speaks to these ideas as well. Take a look:
Tuck It Away:
Jesus tells a parable about tucking away gifts in Matthew 25:14-30. A master entrusts his servants with various amounts of talents. When he returns he finds that two of them invested their talents and returned more than they were given. But there was one who hid his talent and only returned what he was given. Every believer has been entrusted with his/her salvation. It is up to the believers if that talent is invested or hidden; multiplied or stagnate.
There are days that it would most definitely be easier to stay hidden but then what would we give our master when He returns? What would we hear? “Well done, my good and faithful servant” or “You slothful servant”?
Ya gotta love the exchange lines after Christmas! We have all faced them when the gift was the wrong size, a duplicate, or broken.
David, the future king of Israel, exchanged a few things before he faced Goliath. I Samuel 17 tells the story of David’s exchange. When Saul finally agreed that David could battle it out with Goliath, he gave him all of his warrior’s armor. Saul placed the magnificent bronze helmet on David’s head. He clothed him in his coat of mail. David strapped the long sharp sword over the armor. And then he tried to walk. It was the ultimate, “This just doesn’t fit” exchange. David returned all of the armor in exchange for his slingshot and a few stones. Once he had the armor with the “right fit” he was able to defeat Goliath with little effort.
As believers, we sometimes clothe ourselves with the wrong armor. We put on perfection, business, check lists, and all the rest rather than clothing ourselves simply with the Spirit of God. Paul says in Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the POWER AT WORK WITHIN US to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.” That is enough to face any Goliath we might be facing today.
This was a new word for me when we returned to the United States after living in the Philippines for 14 years. The first time I heard, “I’ll be re-gifting this one,” I had no idea what the person was talking about. After it was explained I wasn’t sure how I felt about it either!
EXCEPT in the case of Christ and our spiritual gifts. We were given the gift of salvation and we can re-gift that one as many times as needed and with the blessing of the giver! Who do you know whom you can re-gift Christ to today?
We were given spiritual gifts like encouragement, hospitality, teaching, generosity, exhortation, leadership, zeal, mercy, and cheerfulness. Each of those gifts were given with the intent of “re-gifting.” It was never intended that we hang on to these for our own use; we are to give them away everyday. No worries, it is impossible to run out of stock.
Jesus Did Them All
Jesus has done all of these things. He tucks away believers in the palm of His hands and He says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27) He exchanged His life for ours, “who gave himself four our sins to deliver us” (Galatians 1:4). His re-gift is “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
What will you do with your Christmas gifts this year?