Friday, November 22, 2013

let's talk about this tipping thing.

Recently, lots of my friends on Facebook have been reposting this link about how Christians are Christianity's worst enemy when it comes to leaving bad impressions - namely, in restaurants. It's widely known that the "church crowd" on Sundays are the most demanding and cheapest tipping bunch that you can serve in a restaurant, and that does nothing to improve the feelings that many have towards Christians - that we're rude, selfish, and consider ourselves "above the masses."

And honestly, I think they're right.

The very term "Christian" means "someone that strive to be Christ-like."  I personally don't think that there is anything Christ like about pitching a fit over some salad dressing only to leave a tiny tip or none at all.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha?  Jesus and his disciples visited their home, and rather than running around trying to get refills, Mary stopped her work and sat at his feet.  Martha, on the other hand, ran around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to make her guests comfortable.  Jesus told her to slow down, not to worry about it, and to sit and learn from him.

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Marthaopened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

You're probably wondering what this has to do with anything. Stay with me.

When we go out to eat with our brothers and sisters in Christ, it's a time of fellowship, whether its on Sunday or not (Matthew 18:20: "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.") Being rude to servers when we are gathered in fellowship really reflects badly on the One whom we claim to serve. The servers serving us have who knows how many other tables they are trying to please, and have been on their feet for hours. They may be trying to pay for their tuition or support a family. Shouldn't we, as ambassadors of Christ, be a place of rest for them? I'm not saying that we should ask them to sit and eat with us, because they would probably get in trouble, but we should say "Thank you." We should not blow up because our tea is not as sweet as we want it. We should not ignore their presence when they ask how the food is or if we're doing ok.

In the story of Mary and Martha, Jesus shows us that it's hard to hear His voice when we're running ragged. If we are His followers and the desire of our life is to bring others to know His love, we shouldn't be making it harder on those who have to run themselves ragged every day to make ends meet, or even just to afford going out with friends every once in a while. Our love should show through our graciousness. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. None of those things contribute to rude behavior in restaurants or elsewhere.

This is just a logical extension of our lives being our testimony. Would someone who has the joy of the Lord in their spirit be intentionally rude? Would someone who experiences the vast love of the Creator every day be too miserly to leave a tip for the hard work the server has put into our opportunity to fellowship?

There have been many who are offended at the article's allusion that your tipping and restaurant behavior could be connected to your Christianity. And of course, I don't think that you're going to hell if you don't tip (and for those of you using that argument, its called a straw man fallacy. Look it up.) But I do think that your Christianity should influence your behavior, and that if your relationship with the Lord is what He desires it to be, then you won't feel the need to be rude or skimp on a tip.

Maybe faith isn't a big deal to you. In that case, lets look at it logically - servers make 2.15 or so an hour. Tips are supposed to supplement that into the equivalent of minimum wage. If you don't tip, that server isn't making anything, since the 2.15 pretty much just covers taxes. Plus, it isn't smart to be mean to someone handling something you are going to eat. It's just common sense.

Again, I don't think that being rude or not tipping means you are not living in Christ. But if you are, why would you want to do these things in the first place?

Tip your servers, even if they're rude, even if the service isn't as stellar as you'd like it to be. Tip according to service, because that's how the system works, but still tip, and give the benefit of the doubt. If your paycheck was dependent on the whim of those who maybe didn't see you on your best day, this would not be an issue. Love your neighbor.
It all seems pretty simple to me.


  1. *slow claps that turns into a thunderous applause*

  2. I agree 100%! Especially the one who was like "God get's 10%, why do you get 18?" like wow, I hope you give God more than 10% of WHAT THAT MEAL COSTS... or else,that server would be stoked to get 18% OF YOUR WAGES.
    sharing everywhere!!


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