The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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Christian tipping?


An article from Christianity Today  recently  caught my eye.

Why Are Christians Such Bad Tippers?

Statistics show that non-church attenders view Christians as sanctimonious and judgemental, so  a poor tip only confirms their prejudices.  From the article the author describes a server’s attitude about waiting on Christians:

One says that in the steak house where she witnessed during college, Sunday lunch was the shift to avoid. Servers with seniority made the new people work it because “church people don’t tip, don’t control their children, and are really mean when you mess up their food,” she says. On half a dozen occasions, a Sunday after-church group left her a tract instead of a tip. (Once, it was a tract that looks like money.) A few times, Christian customers told her that she should not be working on Sunday because it was the Lord’s Day—while she was waiting on them.

Our younger daughter worked as a server in college, so I am prejudiced toward tipping well on general, not Christian, principles.

When I apply my faith to tipping, however, I come away with three personal guidelines.  First, the lower the bill, the higher percentage the tip.  Someone who works in a Waffle House, where people get the $4.99 breakfast special need more that a $0.75 tip.  Fifteen percent of a small bill just isn’t an adequate tip.  The second principle is to round-up your tip.  Is that $0.50 really going to make a difference in your life?  I doubt it; but if several people all round-up, it might make a difference to the server.  And finally, if you are in large party that splits the bill, watch what others leave.  If someone is cheap or assumes the rest of the table will take care of the tip, assume responsibility for the overall tip and leave a little more.  One person’s cheapness reflects on you if you were in the same party.  Take responsibility no matter who should have left more.  Does that make you feel “put upon?” Better you than the server. The party was made of your friends.

There have been rare instances where I’ve left a smaller tip due to extraordinarily rude or offensive service, but I can count those times on one hand.   In general,I don’t use tipping as an overt witness; rather, I use it as an opportunity to challenge my own character and to practice generosity. My tip amount is only partially about the server.  The rest of it is about me.  Am I gracious?  Am I generous?  That seems the greater question.










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