Hand-Me-Downs

by Joanna Pierce on September 12, 2018

As I child I remember learning early on that seemingly innocent and harmless remarks (as a statement or a question), could actually be the worse thing you could say. From uttering these words, you could have your mouth washed out with soap, be spanked and relocated to timeout, or solidify a mortal enemy.

In case you’re curious, I’m speaking to the latter of the three today…

In every day life, complimenting someone on their clothing is not an unusual behavior on my part. I then normally ask a reflex, follow-up question: “where did you get it?” As a child, you mimic your parents. As an adult, you genuinely want to know where said item was purchased to find for yourself. But, I’ve learned the question has the innate ability to transform a smile of the recipient to an immediate scowl. This happens when their answer turns out to be one and the same: it’s a hand-me-down. And, in those moments you wish you never asked…

I’ve never understood why people think that if their clothing, cars, homes, etc. aren’t brand new, that it isn’t worthy to be blessed with, recognized, or owned. I come from a family of hand-me-downers and learned to be thankful for (and genuinely appreciate) everything I received!

My fondest memories are digging through bags of clothing looking for something new to wear and style with my own flair. Today, I’m an avid frequenter of consignment and thrift shops, and find pleasure in telling people where I find my clothing because what I have is one-of-a-kind!

Whether you like it or not, we all should have a heart to accept hand-me-downs and not view them as something irreverent or uncomely. Here’s why:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:11–13, KJV).

I don’t know about you, but my day-to-day life isn’t always filled with “walking-on-sunshine” moments. There are dark times filled with trials and battles that never seem to end. In those times, I need something to wear and fight against the enemy of my soul. And, let me tell you: I refuse to search for something new that the world has to offer! I want to wear a garment that has been tested and weathered countless storms. I’m looking for the battle armor of my God—the ultimate hand-me-down! His armor fits, works, and even looks great!

When you accept someone else’s seasonal clothing, an added bonus is the unique treasures you find. I’ve been blessed with forgotten money, toys, and other precious trinkets buried deep within overlooked pockets. Hand-me-downs can bless you beyond the immediate clothing need.

God’s armor—His hand-me-downs to His children—come with His righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, power, and Word (Ephesians 6:14–17). You don’t just get His garment, but all of Him as well. Who wouldn’t want to be wrapped up in their Savior, walking, talking, and looking like Him?

If you’ve had a different opinion of hand-me-downs in the past, I ask you to take another look today. Pray that you’re careful not to discard every one that’s offered up to you—especially the garments and anointing of God. Trust me, that’s one hand-me-down you really do need. And, once you have it on, you’ll realize it’s not a hand-me-down, but really a hand-me-up.