search icon search iconSearch A-Z Index Members IconMember Portal Members IconOnline Giving
Members Icon


Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church portal. Please choose an option below to see our events, small groups or to give online.


First Thoughts Blog

← Return to blog

The Perfect Re-Gifting

Re-gifting. To most of us, this is a word that brings to mind bizarre statuettes, frozen smiles and “future white elephant party” fantasies. We try to pass off things we receive, but don’t want, to others who, we hope, won’t figure out that we took an unwanted gift and gave it away ourselves. But what if we re-gift the things that are most precious to us? It’s likely that our Christmas or birthday celebrations would be clothed in an experience of joy we’ve rarely known. Kristina’s Oma presented her with a carnelian pendant set in gold that belonged to her for many years when Kristina went for a visit in Amsterdam as a teenager, and she treasures it to this day. 
The Apostle Paul tells us of such a re-gifting. The Corinthian church he planted and pastored was filled with a large group of colorful characters. Some were catching onto the Christ-centered life, but others . . . not so much. There were problems involving sex, money, power and social relationships that Paul addressed with this young but undisciplined congregation. Finally, he turns to gifts from the Holy Spirit.
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed . . . there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12: 1, 4-7) 
Do you see that last sentence? EVERY believer in Jesus Christ receives a gift from the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of how God works among us. This includes abilities such as leadership, mercy, words of knowledge, craftsmanship and faith. There is a lively debate within Christian circles, including our wider Presbyterian family, over the continuing presence of all the gifts mentioned in Scripture, but all agree that the Father and the Son send the Spirit to each believer in the church. Yet what is the purpose of receiving these gifts? They are for the COMMON GOOD. In other words, Fred may receive the gifts of faith and help, but they are only activated as he uses them to bless Judy, John, and others in the church and beyond. Marjorie has gifts of shepherding and healing, but they only work as she acts on them toward others. Re-gifting is the whole point of spiritual gifts, and as we give away what God has given us to bless and serve, our church will see the ministry of Jesus Christ unfold and blossom both inside and outside the walls of our church. Talk about Christmas all year round! 
Unfortunately, many of us are simply uninformed about spiritual gifts, in particular the gifts God has given to us to share. This fall I am launching a Sunday school class, beginning August 13, that will spend several weeks looking at what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, his work among us, and in particular, the spiritual gifts we may have to use. By the end of our time together, you should have a good idea of what your spiritual gifts may be, and how you can give them away in service! This is tied into our upcoming stewardship season and I’m so looking forward to what the Lord will show us! Instead of re-gifting that bald headed chia pet in your closet, you’ll have some “precious jewels” to pass on to your friends, neighbors and even the acquaintances in your life. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9: 15)