We often speak with a tinge of embarrassment if our children wear someone else's hand-me-down clothes. I guess somewhere not so deep down I want to boast that I buy brand new, name brand shoes and jeans for my boys. However, like most people, my pocketbook can't keep up with my pride.
Hand-me-downs have always been a part of life. The book, Cheaper by the Dozen, is about a family with twelve children who worked to live as efficiently as possible. They tell how when the oldest boy shopped for a suit, his five brothers went with him to give their approval, because they knew one day it would be passed down for each of them to wear.
When I was a kid, I was always rather proud to receive some of my big brother's clothes. At first, they would be a little big for me, so I would stand as tall as I could and stretch my arms so my hands would show. My brother's clothes told me that I was getting bigger like him and was not a little kid anymore. Moreover, there was a nice feeling that my brother was with me when I walked in his clothes.
The Bible talks a lot about our clothes. God provides them for us and we are supposed to share them. Back then people tore them when they felt anguish. Jesus' clothes shone brightly when his glory was fully revealed.
Certain qualities are like clothes that we put on: righteousness (Job 29:14), strength (Is. 51:9), and humility (1 Pet. 5:5). The apostle Paul told us to put on God's characteristics as if they were His clothes handed down to us. We are to put on compassion, kindness, meekness, patience, and love (Col. 3:12-14)). When we wear the Lord's garments, we become more like Him, taking on a new identity "according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).
I will never be embarrassed to wear God's hand-me-downs.