The subject of Christians and tipping is back in the headlines thanks to the pastor in St. Louis who not only left no tip but threw in a sanctimonious sermon to top it off. In case you haven’t heard here’s a brief synopsis:
Pastor and friends enjoy a good meal at Applebee’s accompanied by excellent service.
Pastor receives a check with an automatic 18% “six or more” gratuity added to the total.
Pastor is not happy. Pastor crosses out the $6.29 tip, writes instead “0” and adds this zinger: “I give God 10%. Why do you get 18?”
Pastor signs the receipt with “Pastor.”
Later that day, a waitress who had not served the pastor took a picture of the receipt and posted it online with a note reading, “My mistake…I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.” The internet went crazy.
After seeing her receipt, complete with her signature on the internet, the pastor complais to Applebee’s which promptly fires the poster.
The pastor apologizes saying that her actions show a “lapse in my character and judgment.” She continues, “My heart is really broken. I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.” You think? Another case of a Christian gone bad?
I’m not going to come down hard on the pastor. While I do give a generous tip to servers I’m not always so generous in the kindness department to telemarketers, tech support people, and a few others. Nope. I’m not in a position to throw rocks.
The pastor is right. She did bring embarrassment to her church, ministry, and, I think, to Jesus. How about us? Anything we’re doing to embarrass Jesus?
According to studies, God has a flock full of cheapskates.
The joke is old and a “groaner” but true nonetheless, “What’s the difference between Christians and canoes? Canoes tip.”
A 2012 study by Cornell University tipping expert Michael Lynn showed that Jews and people with no religion tip better than self-identified Christians. The personal stories of servers being stiffed by Christians are sad. To top it off, instead of leaving money, some leave a cheesy gospel tract – a practice called tipping with a tract.
One server got excited when he saw what he thought was a $10 bill under a plate Instead, it was a fake bill with these words, “Some things are better than money.” Turn it over and it reads, “like your eternal salvation, that was bought and paid for by Jesus going to the cross.” The server posted photos of the note with these words, “I have never been more atheist.” I don’t think the tract worked. I wonder how many people have given their lives to Christ because a customer tipped them with a tract instead of money?
“Everybody at Chili’s hates waiting on Christians,” says one server.
“I believe there is a group called c.a.t.s. that congregates every Sunday after church at the restaurants of their choice and it stands for christians against tipping servers.”
“No one wants the church crowd,” writes Amanda, a server in Iowa: “they don’t tip.”
Some restaurant experts say that Sunday is famous for having the highest food sales but the lowest tips.
So next time we go out to eat, get a call from a telemarketer, or talk to a rep on the phone about a problem, I’ll ask myself:
How can I preach about an extravagant, grace-giving God and be stingy?
Am I letting Jesus speak through me? Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12
Am I seeing Jesus in people? Matthew 25:40