Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Tipping Well

Raymond Johnson:
What Christians may not realize is that, by tipping servers poorly, they are in danger of living inconsistently with the Gospel they preach. Indeed, poor tips are an example of what Moses teaches in Deuteronomy 25 -- muzzling an ox when it is treading out grain (Deuteronomy 25:4). It relinquishes responsibility to the Great Commission, because the Gospel is about grace. Of all the people in the world, Christians should understand that they are unworthy to be recipients of the great mercy, grace and generosity shown them in Christ. Even an unbelieving person can tip fairly, but Christians should be more than "fair" tippers, they should be generous because God has generously provided redemption for them through His Son, Jesus Christ (Luke 7:47). For the Christian, tipping shouldn't be contingent upon the dining experience.

When a Christian determines the tip percentage of the bill based on quality of service or uniqueness of the dining experience, he or she contradicts grace and flirts dangerously with greed. It is flirting with greed because it forgets, at least momentarily, that underserved grace is shown to us every day.
Read the rest.

(HT:  Owen Strachan)


Emily Taylor said...

I think the points made are all well and good, but I think as Children of God we also need to stand up for ourselves if we are treated poorly.
It would not be Christianly wise to pay an extra $5,000 for a house because the grace of God sees they should have had a second chance to re-do the carpet or roof.
I agree that Christians need to be less judgmental when figuring out the tip, but I don't think our Lord would want us to encourage someone to do their work in a poor manner. If it were all about showing grace, then why aren't we encouraged to leave our entire paycheck with the very next person to help us...or to do their job?
I guess I just think that the Grace of God has a lot less to do with it than this article states.

DaddyG said...

I agree with Emily. Tipping should be done in a generous and giving spirit. But leaving a large tip for poor service, while gracious and generous, also justifies a bad worker in his ways. This is not loving either. I will never leave zero tip (in fact, I try to tip decently even for poor service), but I am definitely going to leave a much larger tip for someone who strives to do well in their job. More than that, their heart in TRYING to do well is more important to me than whether they pull it off seamlessly or not.

Vitamin Z said...

I would argue that it's not even about the server. It's way more about our own heart. I'm not concerned about rewarding bad behavior. I am concerned with my own prideful heart that is bent towards legalism at all times and when I seek to reward or payback someone in the restaurant for bad service it can do nothing but feed this mentality.

Being gracious to those who don't deserve it is the heart of the Gospel. I need to structure ways to remind myself of that. Tipping well even with bad service might help remind me of how I got saved in the first place.

Shouldn't we be thankful that God wasn't worried about "rewarding bad behavior" before he saved us?