A disturbing story came from Glenn Beck’s internet news, The Blaze. A woman “pastor” (immediately a violation of Scripture) wrote a snide comment on her dinner bill: “I give God 10% - why do you get 18?” (This was an instance of a mandatory gratuity for a large party.) There are several thoughts I have:
1. She is not mandated to give God 10% of anything. And she also should not be broadcasting what she does give.
2. If this “pastor” wants to play games of tithing, the 10% is on her income - but the 18% is based only on her dinner bill.
3. The waitress did not make the policy - why humiliate her?
4. If you have enough money to go out to dinner, you certainly have enough to pay a decent tip to people who are working hard for less than minimum wage, hoping their tips will help them to make a decent living.
5. What sort of behavior is this for any Christian, let alone a “pastor”?!
The “pastor” then defended herself by pointing out that she did leave the tip - as if that excuses the behavior.
Christians should set an example in public and not disgrace the name of Christ. I have in the past gone out with a particular family; the wife and girls wore head-coverings and they made it well known to the waitress that we were all Christians. But their behavior was an embarrassment to me and my wife, as they were condescending to the waitress and treated her like a lowly slave. Of course my wife and I were kind to the waitress and hoped she wouldn’t think all Christians behaved as that family. As we were leaving I noticed that the other couple left a $2 tip for a bill that had to be close to $80. I was appalled, and found an excuse to go back to the table and added an appropriate amount to their tip so the waitress wouldn’t get stiffed. This is the incident I remembered as I read the story about this “pastor.”
(For those not informed, a normal tip is 15%, and if you had really good service it is customary to give 20%. If you can afford to eat out, you can afford an appropriate tip.)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must remember that we are ambassadors for Christ, and as such we should do our best to represent Him in all of our activities. This means treating everyone fairly, and that includes the person who is serving you at a restaurant. If your service was poor, there may have been an underlying reason, so be gracious and merciful and give a tip anyway, and perhaps a kind note which says you recognized distress and will pray for them. You may never know what a blessing you brought to them.