In Germany, you can often spot an American in an instant. Here are a few “dead giveaways” that you are an American.
1 You are standing at the check out counter waiting for someone to bag your groceries.
2 You are studying the chained grocery carts trying to find where to put your euro to release one of them.
3 You have your American dollars mixed in with your Euro dollars and your American coins mixed in with your Euro coins.
4 You don’t drive your bike. You ride it. And you don’t ride it everywhere. Mostly you take the car.
5 You drive a Honda Odyssey Mini Van.
6 You drive a Honda Odyssey Mini Van with an OU Sooner sticker on the window. (My husband says I am an easy target.)
7 You leave a big tip.
8 You use your turn single to enter a roundabout, but fail to use them when exiting the roundabouts.
9 You have on average, 8 yellow bags of trash for pick-up on yellow bag day, and your German neighbors have only 2 or 3.
10 You open your mouth and speak.
I didn’t even get into how we dress, drive, or shop. I love the humor in this. I have mostly enjoyed this clashing of cultures. It has taught me much and stretched me spiritually and mentally. But as I thought about this, I wondered am I a dead give away for a Christian? What would that list look like? Here are a few thoughts. Servant, generous, thoughtful, shows interest in others, giving of your time, a picture of peace in chaos, friendly driver, not a gossip, mostly optimistic, Godly speech, a sense of Godly priorities, conviction and passion for God and His Word, repentant, humble, able to say “I’m sorry,” trusting of God.
Galations 5 outlines for us the “fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These are DEAD GIVEAWAYS for spotting a Christian. “Dead Giveaway Christians” are always pointing people to Christ whether they say it out loud or not. Their lifestyle and habits will preempt any words from their mouth. If this is true, then it only follows that our lifestyle and habits can also negate our words or affirm them.
I was especially convicted in two areas during the series “The Vow,” (Lifechurch.tv) 1 For true intimacy to happen between me and my husband, I must trust God to trust him (Paul) with secrets, hopes, fears, anger, joy, everything! In the same way for us to have intimate friendships, we must trust God to enable us to trust others. The second thing I was convicted of during this series, was “act like a Christian.” These days, it is often the case that the word Christian conjures up so many negative thoughts, stereotypes, and preexisting secular images and ideas, and not all very appealing or complimentary. But the truth is “Christian” is a very scriptural word first used at Antioch. (Acts 11:25-27) Personally, when I think of “Christian,” I think of “Christ like.” Maybe it is time, we started showing the world the true definition of Christian. Are you and I a “dead giveaway?”