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United Youth Corps: Our Outward Sign

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Our Outward Sign

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For instance, when a couple gets engaged and then married, they often wear rings on the ring finger of their left hand. If someone wants to know if a person is married, he or she looks at that person's left hand. It's amazing how something so small can outwardly and nonverbally show that a person is engaged or married.

I then started to think how it's similar to the way of life for the Muslims whom we have come to know in Jordan.

Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day. Many of them go to the mosques to pray while others will kneel down in whichever office, classroom or street they happen to be at the time. Many women wear a headscarf called a hijab with a long dress, and others cover most of their faces. This tradition is changing as more and more women are dressing in Western styles while still considering themselves Muslim, but the strictest ones still will wear it.

Also, both men and women carry around worry beads, which are similar to rosaries or prayer beads. They will often fiddle with their beads or swing them around throughout the day. These are all outward symbols that identify them as Muslim.

If a woman—even in America—is wearing a hijab, I assume she is Muslim without even speaking to her. If I see a man in his office on a mat facing Mecca going through the prayer routine, again, I assume he is Muslim. So my next thought was, Wow! Without even speaking, a person can often know what religion someone is and possibly even know how strict or serious one takes his or her faith by just looking at the person's dress or behavior.

How Do You Identify a True Christian in a Crowd?

I then wondered, what is our obvious outward sign as true Christians? Not too long ago, some teachers at my school thought maybe we were Jewish. I thought, wouldn't it be easier if they could tell just by looking at us that we are Christian?

Then it struck me. Perhaps God doesn't want to make it that easy on us. How will they know the five of us living here in Jordan are Christians? In the scriptures, Jesus said one would be able to identify His people by the way they act.

He tells us in Matthew 7:16-20 that we know a person by the fruits he or she produces. He also tells us that all will know we are His disciples if we "have love for one another" (John 13:35).

There are also attitudes and actions we are actually supposed to put off and others we are to put on. The apostle Paul writes, "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds...Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:8-9, 12-14).

The last scripture I turned to as I was thinking about outward signs was about putting on the full armor of God, which we read about in Ephesians 6:10-17. It isn't as easy as going to the store to buy a Christian uniform. We Youth Corps volunteers must strive to let this nation know we are Christians by demonstrating God's way of life every day.

Follow the 2009-2010 United Youth Corps—Jordan team on their blog at www.uycjordan09.blogspot.com.UN

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