A while back, I asked for blog suggestions on my Facebook page (hey, let’s be friends, click for my Facebook page)… and William suggested, “Christians should tip well at restaurants.”
My mom, Dorothy, spent most of her adult life as a waitress (but I’m gonna stick with the now fashionable “waiter”). She started at a small diner in Chicago, and worked her way up to a banquet waiter at some nice hotels. When my parents moved to Florida, she continued waiting tables at different restaurants.
I learned restaurant etiquette from her, including not to blow bubbles to create foam in my milk shake, and not to pick gum off the bottom of the tables.
I also learned that the after-mass mass was the worst mass of all.
A number of waiters in my current home town tell me they dread the Sunday pm shift. Crabby, demanding patrons in Sunday best ruin the reputation of Jesus and then leave a lousy tip wrapped in a gospel tract.
Cheap tippers lend credence to the old adage, “It’s not God I’m having difficulty with; it’s his people.” The Bible tells pastors to reprove and rebuke with all longsuffering, so here goes:
STOP IT! OR I’LL…
How far from the spirit of Christ! Hypocrites! Crabby, mean-spirited, bratty so-called followers of the One who GAVE HIS ALL? How can this be? How can you walk out of the worship of the living God and so quickly unleash your Inner Jerk on waiters “groping in darkness” to find the God who made them?
And here you are, you damnable cheap tipper, putting stumblingblocks in their way. Tripping them up. Making them tell stories about lousy tips wrapped in cheesy tracts. STOP IT!
Dear Waiters of America, on behalf of Christians everywhere, I’m sorry. I apologize.
I’m not saying you have to go crazy with the tip. Lord knows everybody’s hurting right now. But 15% is standard and go higher from there. Or else, just order carry-out. And, for our Lord’s sake, don’t pull out one of those “tip calculation cards…” Just figure it out and round UP. For an extra buck, you make Jesus look good to a skeptic.
Paul’s exhortation regarding the Corinthians’ offering applies to everybody when it comes to the spirit of generosity:
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. (2 Corinthians 9:5, NKJV).
Don’t begrudge the tip; it’s part of the price tag of eating out in our culture. You knew that walking in. And don’t be so demanding and critical of table service. Yes, you should expect professionalism, but not perfection.
Christ’s followers should be big-hearted, encouraging, and generous. Your life isn’t about how much money you kept in your wallet; it’s about how well your life pointed to your Savior.
Remember, you have a testimony. Even in a restaurant. Even with a waiter. You have a testimony. Your life witnesses to an all-gracious Savior. Remember that next time you eat out.
What you say with a tract can never undo what you say with your conduct.
Let your conduct be your testimony, and your tip be a token of Christ’s love.
Any waiters wanna sound off? Use the comments section…