Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17)

HAND-ME-DOWNS! How I hated them when I was growing up. Mother’s eyes would gleam with anticipation when someone dropped off a bag, or sometimes two, of clothes their children had outgrown. My eyes would roll, knowing I’d have to try everything on and endure her gushing over outfits I found hideous.

“Why can’t I ever get new clothes?” I asked. But I knew the answer. Dad was a newspaper man—not a reporter, but someone who went door-to-door to solicit subscribers and to collect their money when it was due. Dad’s meager salary provided for our needs but not for my wants.

When I got married and had to quit my job after our first child arrived, we foolishly went in debt because I wanted everything new. By the time children two and three came along, however, I loved getting bags of hand-me-downs from my friends and was happy to pass along the clothes my kids had outgrown to others.

I’ve heard it said that clothes don’t make the man—or the child. What matters, especially to God, is what’s inside. He looks at our hearts and longs for us to cast aside our old lives that we might become a new creation in Him. And then He calls us to pass on to others the wonderful new life He offers.

Share the good news of newness of life with someone today.

Marlene Bagnull will celebrate fifty-two years of marriage in November with her husband, Paul. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.