How Would Jesus Tip?

From Think Christian, something good to keep in mind as you go out to eat, especially around the holidays, when every little bit helps:

I recently encountered this blog post by a Christian psychologist Richard Beck.  He writes, provocatively, “The single most damaging phenomenon to the witness of Christianity in America today is the collective behavior of the Sunday morning lunch crowd. Never has a more well-dressed, entitled, dismissive, haughty or cheap collection of Christians been seen on the face of the earth.” [True dat – j]

I wish our restaurants paid their employees enough that they could survive on their wages alone, but they depend on tips, so we should be aware of that.

 I think it’s best to think of our interactions with other people in two related ways. First, if this person knows I am a Christian, how is my behavior reflecting what that means to me? Second, I think it is our job in the world to show Christ’s love to others, and that love does not necessarily need to be linked to an explicit presentation of the gospel.

When I think about this attitude, it makes it a lot easier for my natural tightwad to put an extra dollar in that jar or on that table. What better use for a few dollars than to repeat God’s generosity toward others?

It helped my attitude a lot when I stopped looking at tipping as some kind of obligatory burden, and started looking at it as another opportunity to be generous.  I ask God for opportunities to share His love all the time, as I’m sure a lot of Christians do.  Well, there you go: it’s right in front of your face every time you go to Denny’s.


  1. This is a HUGE bugaboo for me.

    Years ago as a young married mom whose husband was still in college, I worked at a coffee shop called Bob’s Big Boy. NOBODY wanted to work on Sundays because of the church people. I and one other girl were Christians and were constantly embarrassed by the rudeness of the Sunday crowd, who for the most part were extremely demanding and then would leave a tract instead of a tip. You should have heard the sarcastic read-alouds of said tracts in the break room. Church people were despised by the rest of the crew, and for good reason.

    The week before I left that job, a church youth group came in on a Sunday evening, took up the entire back room, ordered only desserts (which the waitress has to make) on all separate checks, and just ran their waitress ragged. I helped her serve this group, and was beginning to clear one of the tables when the group started to leave…without leaving a tip. Let’s just say that if I hadn’t been leaving that job anyway my ass would have been fired, because I ripped that youth pastor a new one (all in Christian love, of course, heh) about what a horrible witness they were and how they were mocked by the staff behind their backs. He managed to scrounge a couple of bucks in change from his pocket, and left without apologizing for his groups bad behavior (they were very rowdy and left a huge mess).

    Needless to say, I am famous for my over-tipping. Even when the service is bad, I give a good tip, because you never know what is going on in your server’s life that makes them have a bad day. Better to err on the side of love, I say.

    If you are going to eat out, you should budget for a good tip as well. If you can’t afford the tip, skip your sodas and give your server what you would have spent on that, or go to fast food. Especially on a Sunday, dressed in your nice clothes… everybody knows that you think you are a Christian… and how a real Christian should act.

  2. Pingback: The Value of Tipping - jason (r) anderson

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