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Living Generously, Sharing Faithfully

The Art of Regifting and Returning


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by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president

Most people who know me know that I like all of God’s little creatures. However, I like some of them less than others. Cats are one of those that I like less than others. My wife has two cats that I am currently sharing space with, but that is another story.


This is the season of giving, and someone recently gave me a gift: a statue of a cat.

This cat statue from some dear people was frankly a funny little joke. We all laughed about it and I then took the gift home. It was a good moment of shared humor.

This is often the season of regifting.

The funny thing about the cat statue, my friends told me, was that this was a regifted item that made them think about me. And honestly, I have already regifted it to someone that has a greater appreciation of the feline species than I do. Regifting is something that is practiced carefully for obvious reasons.

This is also the season of returning gifts.

So many gifts are returned for different reasons: It could be the wrong size, color, style or just the wrong gift. I hate returning things. There have been many times that I have received gifts that I clearly will never use. The gift giver will even give me the receipt and tell me that I can take it back if I want. What do I do? Say thank you and then never take it back. There is something about returning gifts that seems so wrong. It is something I rarely will do.

While regifting and returning are things that happen quite a bit today, we also find references and reminders in the Bible about the abundance of giving and the source of our gifts.


As the Old Testament temple was being built, the people brought all the abundance to help build the temple. David prays to God about all that had been given.

“But who am I,” says David in 1 Chronicles 29:14, “and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee and of thine own have we given thee.”

Verse 17 states also that David willingly offered the gifts and that all the people of Israel had offered all those things willingly as well.

You see, in our relationship with God, we come to realize that whatever we already have is His and whatever comes into our life is also His. So when we give things to God, we are both regifting and returning what is already God’s to Him.

This season as you spend time reflecting on the gifts of God for you, may you also remember to return to God what is already His and to regift to Him what He has given to you.d