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Why Christians Should Always Tip Well

Jessica ScheksComment

tipping Several years ago in a discussion class in college I was a part of a discussion that disturbed me. I didn't partake in it... partly because I was mortified, and partly because I hated discussion classes anyway. But several of my classmates began talking about church groups coming into restaurants where they worked as servers at the time. {and side note: One of them happened to work at the Applebee's where my youth group went almost every Sunday night after service.} And when I say they were "talking about church groups," I really mean that they were passionately discussing their hatred for them. They spewed out a list of common characteristics of these so called "church groups:"

  • Terrible tippers
  • Order the cheapest things possible, which results in tiny tips
  • Rude
  • Expect more than should be expected from a server {especially at a sub-par restaurant such as Applebee's}
  • Have no sympathy if it's busy or for any other circumstances the server may be dealing with
  • Often in large groups
  • Often come in late at night
  • Easily offended

But here's the thing, for the most part, they were right. And it really saddens me.

My husband has been a server for about nine years and he totally knows what it feels like to work hard all night and barely get a tip. It's a terrible feeling. But on the flip side,  he also knows what it feels like to get an awesome tip that totally makes his night! So he loves paying it forward and leaving a great tip for our servers when we go out.

Before we started dating I used to tip exactly 15 percent, it didn't matter whether the service was phenomenal or not, or what I ordered was only $4.50 resulting in a 67 cent tip. In fact I was happy to only have to pay a small tip when my bill was small. But then Michael enlightened me.

Leaving an extra dollar or two, or five, or ten, probably isn't going to hurt you, most likely will not make or break you financially, and in turn will make someone feel appreciated. Many of my friends are Christians, so when I go out to eat with friends, the very vast majority of the time it's safe to say that we are all Christians at the table. Sometimes we will openly pray over our meal and we often go out to eat after church so we're all dressed up and the hostess or server will usually ask us why we're so fancy or where we're coming from. So at this point, everything we do will either point the server and other restaurant employees to Christ, or turn them away.

tip jar

So how does acting annoyed, acting as if you deserve the world, acting as if you could care less that the server has eleven other tables, etc. make them want to come to church with you next week? I don't even have to go into specific Bible verses because this is a basic Christian principle; a lifestyle that is to be followed if you are a Christian. That ALL should be done in love {which includes eating at a restaurant and tipping before you leave} and loving thy neighbor as thyself {your server is your neighbor!}

And when I say love, I'm referring to the Christ-like charity. How did Christ show love? If he came and sat down at a restaurant how do you think he'd treat the one serving him? It humbles me just to think about how gracious and loving he'd be towards a stranger just performing their job. He'd probably find a way to minister to them, and without a doubt, he'd leave them with a good impression. Perhaps that person would follow him; leave their job right then and there to become his disciple. Since Jesus is currently not walking around on earth interacting with people, we must put a face on Christ to those lost in the world. It's our responsibility!

It completely boggles my mind that Christians are greedy and act like they deserve to be waited on hand and foot for them to even give a 20 percent tip. To me, a 20 percent tip is standard these days. As Christians we really get our feathers ruffled when people start calling us hypocrites and insulting our lifestyles. Sometimes we get a little too high and mighty, and in our heads respond to these "haters" by listing off the "good" things we do. If only you knew how many times a week I go to church, and I volunteer here, and I read my Bible every morning, and I tithe, and I do this and I do that... how dare someone call me rude. But then we go to a restaurant and leave pocket change on the table because we were insanely nitpicky about the way we were served.

I've noticed Christians are really good at finding flaws in servers. And maybe you do leave a decent tip because that's what you've always been taught, but I've also observed many Christians who start talking as soon as the server walks away. She's only taken several steps away from the table, and the insults start flying. She forgot my extra spoon, she brought the wrong sauce, she didn't refill my drink, blah, blah, blah. Have you ever served several tables simultaneously with demands being thrown at you from every direction? We'd all make mistakes in a fast-paced environment with a thousand different things needing to be done.

So give that server some grace! Instead of telling her she forgot, ask her the next time she stops by your table for what you need like it's the first time you asked. As soon as you say it I bet she'll remember and feel bad enough; you don't need to make it your personal duty to make her feel inadequate. And stop the criticism. Even if your server doesn't hear you, people sitting around you will, and they probably know or at least suspect that you're a Christian based on your dress and if you said a prayer over your meal. If they hear hatred coming from your lips, they'll probably want nothing to do with you.

Even if the service you received really was bad. I still think you should extend grace because people need loved the most when they deserve it the least. You just never know. The server's grandmother could be in the hospital, or maybe one of his friends recently committed suicide. Or maybe he's just really bitter about life because he's been dealt a lot of bad circumstances. Whatever the case, leave a tip. And maybe even a little note of encouragement. Never even think about not leaving a tip! An extra generous tip to an angry person might be just what they need to be humbled. They probably know they're being rude. And they might be intentionally rude to people they know are Christians. If I were that server and I got an awesome tip after I served a table I'd been intentionally rude to, it'd probably convict me or at least cause me to think twice!

So shine the light! Be grace filled everywhere you go so that it spills out of you and onto the people around you. Get to know your server, show that you care. If she shares a struggle in life, mention that you'll pray for her {and you better actually pray!}. Be prayerful about the tip you leave, ask the Lord to lay on your heart if you are to give something extra. The Lord might use you to answer a prayer that your server hopelessly lifted up before her shift as she sifted through her bills. Plus, you'll quickly find that it's a much more pleasant dining experience when you extend grace to your server; you'll forget the small stuff that doesn't really matter, and you'll feel good when you leave knowing that you put a face on Jesus!

An Endlessly Misinterpreted Scripture

FaithJessica Scheks3 Comments

About a week or so ago I read this post by Lori over at Always Learning. She was talking about contentment and spending less because materials goods have no value -- eternally speaking. She mentioned a verse that I constantly see on Pinterest, that is sometimes posted on Facebook when someone is going through a trial, and is quoted by many in the Christian world. The problem is that people always quote the NIV {this post is not intended to debate which version is the best} instead of the KJV. I've always been taught that the KJV is closer to the original translation and I often use the Strong's KJV concordance while studying to really help me understand a verse better since some of the vocabulary is rarely used anymore or used differently in this day and age.

The verse is Jeremiah 29:11 -- you have probably heard it quoted this way many times:

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'"

However Lori quoted it from the KJV Bible and it takes on an entirely different feeling and meaning:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

{I'm sure I've read this scripture a dozen or so times in the KJV Bible, but it never really struck me until today.}

Now I didn't mean to be super harsh by crossing out the first version of this scripture, but the world tends to interpret this verse very incorrectly when read from this version. They believe that God has a very specific plan for them filled with only good things; they will never be harmed and no matter what they will always have a hope for eternity.

First off -- this scripture is about the Israelites as a whole, it's definitely not directed towards one specific individual, but rather a large nation. People today take it is a promise that God will specifically make sure no harm comes their way as an individual. But by reading more of the Bible we know that trials are going to come our way. Just because we are going through a trial does not mean God has forsaken us! Psalm 34:19 tells us that "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them ALL!" {Emphasis mine.}

I feel like to continue this post I'm going to have to mention the concept of predestination >> Personally I believe that God predestines certain events, certain jobs for certain people, etc. But I do not believe that He predestines every aspect of every person's life. If He did it seems to me that we would not have free will, or the ability to make choices. My two main "arguments" are that first of all, God has given us the ability to make choices because we have the ability to sin. But if God predestined every single decision we made, then when we did sin would it be God's fault? I think we know the answer. It definitely would not be God's fault. Secondly, if God knew the outcome of everything then praying would be pointless. In Mark 7:25-30, the Syrophoenician Woman changed the mind of God by asking Jesus a second question in order to have the demon driven out of her daughter. If it were predestined that Jesus would not heal her daughter, then her asking a second question and persisting that her daughter be healed wouldn't have changed anything.

Something else that we need to consider is the fall of mankind -- we failed. Therefore we have a curse on this earth which explains much of the evil and sickness that we must endure. If we had not fallen, death would not be a fear of humans because we were not made to die. But mankind decided to sin; it was a decision, and now we have to live with the consequences.

Taking all of this into consideration will tell you that, yes, Christians along with everyone else in the world will go through trials and suffer at some point, but we also have a hope that the rest of the world doesn't have -- That if we continue to walk with God while we're being tested we will come forth as gold! (Job 23:10)

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" // Romans 8:1-3

Jesus made us free! He suffered to make us free. He suffered. He sinlessly suffered to make sinners free. {There is no greater love!} But this means we will also suffer, but we will suffer for Christ's sake! Suffering for Jesus seems like the least I could do since he did everything for me and yet I feel unworthy even to suffer in his name let alone be blessed.

And even though this scripture doesn't mean what so many believers think it means, it doesn't take any of the glory from our God! He does know you personally, after all He created you. He formed you. He is YOUR {personal, loving, all-knowing, amazing, graceful, merciful} GOD!

 

We Are Not Above Anyone's Sin

FaithJessica Scheks3 Comments

A couple weeks ago I was driving home listening to Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. The topic immediately caught my interest as it was sort of a taboo topic to discuss in the Christian world and I had also just finished reading the novel And The Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers. (Which I highly recommend!)

{First let me preface this post by saying that this topic did not appeal to me because it is something I've gone through or have watched someone else go through. However, it is very intriguing to hear how other Christians have gotten through something so terrible.}

The topic was marital affairs. Jill Savage and her husband were on the show discussing the experience they endured and the steps they had taken to save their marriage afterwards. You can read their story here if you'd like, but I'm not going into too much detail about it in this post.

What left a lasting impression in my mind after listening to the program was something a caller had said. A woman called in to share her experience: Her husband had cheated on her, she was a Christian and he was a "Christian" (aka: He didn't walk the walk, but said he believed in God sort of thing). When she found out about the affair she was shocked and completely distraught; feeling like her world was caving in. Thankfully she had a solid group of Christian women who went through the experience with her - listening when she needed to talk and giving advice when she asked for it. She said the one piece of advice that helped her decide to try and fight for her marriage was short and simple, but it made a big enough of an impact on her that she chose to stay and work things out. Her friend simply told her:

"You are not above his sin." 

When she took that advice to heart and applied it to her marriage, it didn't mean that things instantly turned around. It was a huge struggle for her. But thankfully, upon being found out, her husband turned to Christ more than he ever had in the past. He turned his life over to God and repented and had a deep sorrow for what he had done to his wife. I can't imagine how much harder it would have been for her had he not.

But then she went on to say that she is now the thankful one that her husband stuck by her side because for two years she wasn't the easiest person to live with. She made life very hard for her husband, and looking back she couldn't believe he stayed through it all - which shows that he had a true salvation experience! It just amazed me to hear that as her and her husband started to get on the other side of this trial and she looked back over the experience, she began to realize how blessed she was that he stayed for the way she treated him on a daily basis.

Many callers also said that looking back, they wouldn't change what they had gone through now that they had mostly gotten past it... Which is a pretty powerful thing to say because no one would wish for an affair in their marriage.

The message I got from listening to this radio segment has really stuck in my mind the past few days as I interact with others. There hasn't been huge fights or drama-filled conversations, but even the little things that annoy me or when someone close to me does something I find to be extremely irritating, I have to remember that I AM NOT ABOVE THEIR SIN. The mere fact that I get so annoyed and irritated shows that I'm definitely not above their sin. And it's amazing how quickly you can forget that fact in the midst of something -- Lord help me not to forget! Fill my heart with love for those around me so that I can respond with compassion and glorify You in all that I do. I am reminded of the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians when I reflect on all of this because charity is so important; if I don't have charity I have nothing.

love//My photo was edited on VRSLY//

So even if an affair is not something you are going through, I would still encourage you to read Jill Savage's blog posts about how her and her husband worked to save their marriage. They just recently did a series titled "No More Perfect Marriages" where her and her husband took turns sharing about their experiences before, during, and after the affair they endured. I feel like it's a lesson to all Christians despite whether or not they've had to deal with an affair because it's very hard to love someone at their absolute worst -- especially when they've done something so painful towards you.