Christians and tipping; we need to do better

“Before departing the restaurant, a man left a small tip with a note that said ‘I tithe 10% to the Lord, why should I give you 18%?’  This was on a talk show tippingthis morning.  Another story is told about a customer that didn’t leave a tip, but left a pamphlet about their church instead.

I am always baffled by stories like this.  Do people really think that these kinds of arrogant actions are winning anyone over for Christ?!  Do you think that this waitor said to himself . . . hmmmm . . . maybe I’ll go check out this church after he had been stiffed?!  Not a chance.  I am pretty sure that the brochure ended up in a thousand pieces in the trashcan!  Strike one for the church.

These stories makes me cringe!  I can just picture Jesus at God’s right hand, shaking His head and saying . .  . no child . . . no, you’re not getting it.

This is not a new phenomenon; Christians have typically been lousy tippers.  It’s sad to say that I used to be a lousy tipper myself.  I tipped like so many people do – based on the quality of service from our waitor or waitress.  Was she friendly?  Did she get my order right?  Was my food warm and brought to me in a timely manner?  The scale goes up and down . . . 10% . . . 20% . . . no, maybe 15%.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do, you might say?  Well, in worldly terms that is the socially acceptable thing to do.  However, Christians are not to be ‘worldly’.  We are to be different; set apart.

There are 2 reasons why Christians should ALWAYS tip generously.

The first is grace.  Grace defined is mercy, compassion, or pardon.  If there is one topic that we as Christians should understand, it is grace.  The longer I walk with God, the more I realize exactly how much grace I have received, and how much grace I need.  And I have received it freely and undeservedly.  Without grace where would I be right now?  Oh, I don’t even want to go there.  The number of times He has had my back when I was being foolish and stupid is too much to count.  To say that He has given me grace in my life is such a gross understatement that I hesitate to even write it!  Tipping well regardless of the service we receive is extending grace to others.  How can we receive God’s grace and mercy and not pay it forward?

“Freely you have received; freely give.”  Matthew 10:8

The second reason is that we are to be witnesses for Christ.

“He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.”  John 1:7

What kind of witness am I if I give someone a lousy tip that sends the message that you weren’t good enough?  Who am I?!!  Who are we to put ourselves in a position of superiority?  Jesus washed His disciple’s feet!  We are to serve others, not be served.  We are all God’s children and have equal value in His eyes.

To waitors and waitresses everywhere:  I am sorry for the pride and arrogance that we, as Christians often afford ourselves.  We need to do better!

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