Giving something that we have received to someone else is known as regifting, a practice that has been around for a long time but one that has become more openly acceptable in recent years. The urge to recycle our stuff is driven by a desire to rid ourselves of those things we do not want or need and will never use. We think that our castoffs might be used or enjoyed by someone else, so we pass them along as “gifts”.
According to one survey, more than half of all adults agree that regifting is not objectionable if it is done with consideration and respect. Etiquette experts generally agree on a few fundamental guidelines for regifting.
- Whatever the gift, someone has made the effort to give it. Before regifting, the giver should be sincerely thanked for his or her thoughtfulness.
- To qualify for regifting, the gift/merchandise must be in perfect condition, in its original packaging, with the instructions.
- The regifted item must be something the recipient really needs or would like to have.
- The gift is not something that is one-of-a-kind, handmade, or personalized.
- Never regift something to the original giver.
- Never regift something to someone who might know the original giver.
- Remember that an unwanted gift could be a welcome donation to a charitable organization.
When we grieve, those who offer consolation regift their own emotions. Each expression of comfort comes from the heart and life experience of another. Empathy, compassion, and love grow as life is informed and enriched by each experience of death and grief, “‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:34-36).
When we have received the gift of comfort, we regift to others the comfort we ourselves have received from God, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
God created us to love, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mark 12:30). We regift God’s love to us and our love for God as we love others. Yet from the limited sightline of our mortality, it is impossible to fully grasp the enormity of God’s love, “I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Spiritual regifting is circular, “Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above” (James 1:17 CEB). As we offer our gifts of grief to others, we experience the exponential power of regifting to comfort and bless those who grieve. When we regift our God-given abilities to others, we receive the gifts of divine light and heavenly joy and find new life, “We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8).