23 September 2016

Second-hand Gifts and Grace


If your overseas community is like mine, there is a lot of sharing. We share recipes, babysitting, medical tips (and NyQuil), kids' outgrown clothes and toys, baking supplies, and tons of advice.

Some things we do sell, especially when people repatriate and need to divvy out all their life possessions within a few weeks. For-sale emails with itemized pictures will go out, and the wild rush begins. "I'll take that!" "Yes, please!" "Me me me! Thank you!"--we all eagerly snatch at lovely goods, and happily pay our friends for making our home-away-from-home more comfy.

But there is one rule that holds fast for us: Do not make money on something that was free to you.


It makes sense. Michelle gave me those maternity clothes, and I pass them on to Stephanie. Heidi gave me that car seat, and I pass it on to Yui. Joie gave me that area rug, and I pass it on to Tracy.

It was a gift to me. Now, I give it as a gift to you. 

What's beautiful is that this parallels with grace and love and kindness. What makes perfect sense in our second-hand circles also makes sense with relational serving.

While God's grace came at great cost to Him (His Son!), it is free to us. We receive His favor and acceptance as a gift. We receive love and kindness, care and mercy, confidence and courage. All these are gifts from a gracious Father.

So what should we do in turn? We should pass these on--no strings attached--to others. Too often, I divvy out service, expecting to receive something in return. In other words, I'm charging for something I got for free!

If grace is a gift to me, then I must give it as a gift to others.

Abide in Him,






This post is part of a discussion on "Gift" at Velvet Ashes' The Grove

Related articles you may also enjoy:
How Friends Become Family Overseas
Deep Friendships Are Worth Hard Goodbyes
To the Expat Mom Who Wants to Go Home
Distance and What We Miss

1 comment:

  1. Great parallel between God's grace and our life abroad! We always joke that we're excited when somebody moves away so we can pounce on her stuff :)

    If we give things to our friends so easily, shouldn't we also give our time and service? Excellent thoughts. Thanks for linking up with Velvet Ashes!

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