Although we spent 15 years in a legalistic congregation, one of the things we came away with is the importance of leaving a good tip. The pastor we had was adamant about tipping well and making a waitress’s job as pleasant as possible. I think part of his feelings on that was due to the fact that his mother was a waitress whose life was tragically ended one night after work. Her husband (his step father), was violently abusive and she chose to leave for the safety of herself and her children. He wasn’t thrilled with her leaving and arrived at her work one night to ask her to come back. When she denied his request, he shot her in the chest. He then turned the gun on himself. The family was left without a mother.
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I am willing to bet his mother was a good waitress to her patrons, but not all waitresses are good at what they do. Sometimes you get really bad service from a waitress (or waiter), but do we ever stop to consider why? A grouchy waitress might just be one who has to deal with an abusive man in her life. But for the most part, waitresses do a pretty good job at serving their guests.
As any waitress will tell you, Sunday afternoons are the worst days to wait tables. Sadly, the reason is due to stingy Christians who mistreat them and tip badly or not at all. I knew a woman who was a waitress for many years. She was a Christian and every Sunday her co-workers had to put up with bad treatment from Christian patrons. This woman was so embarrassed by the continual behavior of her fellow Christians every week that she decided to volunteer to handle their tables. None of the other servers wanted to go anywhere near the Christian guests. She would serve them well and put up with their griping and demanding requests. She never complained about the lack of tips. Yet, she was disgusted with their behavior. Although they would never know it, because she was gracious. She smiled and served with humility.
Last week, we observed the dark and sinister behavior up close and personal when we logged into Facebook, Twitter, and our email in-boxes to discover the incident at Applebee’s. The nation gasped as they saw the audacity of a pastor scribble the condition of her own heart on the receipt.
“I give God 10%, why should I give you 18%?”
The social media firestorm blazed hotter than hell as the pastor’s name flooded the Internet. This isn’t the first time a Christian has been rude to servers (or anyone else for that matter). But this time the world held this Christian accountable for her poor actions. She behaved like the self righteous religious leader who refused to help the beaten up man in the Bible. Thank God there are Good Samaritans out there who are compassionate to lend a hand.
This is an area of Christian living that is in dire need of proper teaching.
Thou shalt not be rude to your servants!
Somehow there’s an awful lot of Christians who think it’s permissible to be belligerent patrons in restaurants nation wide. They seem to be under the impression that mistreating servants is their “God given right”. Although the scriptures tell us a different story. The word used in the Bible is ‘slaves’ and I take these passages and apply them to anyone who serves another whether it’s a waitress, a nurse, or your postal carrier.
Colossians 4:1 “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” ESV
Ephesians 6:8-9. “ 8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free. 9 Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.” NLT
The pastor in the hot seat went back to the restaurant demanding that the entire staff working that day be fired.
I wonder if she knows that a pastor is not to be a brawler, given to violence?
1 Timothy 3:3 “…must not be a heavy drinker or be violent…. must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money.” NLT
I know some argue that a pastor should be a man, not a woman, but that’s besides the point here and I’ll leave that topic for another post.
Regardless of whether a pastor should be a man or woman doesn’t change the fact that pastors in general (and all Christians for that matter) are to be kind and gentle. We must be ready to forgive and make amends. The Gospel is reconciliation and thereby we must always be aimed at reconciling.
To our knowledge, the server that day did nothing to deserve such treatment from the pastor. She served the table and should have been given her tip.
Giving God 10% of your entire income is not the same as giving a waitress a tip for one meal.
The arrogance of that pastor is a crying shame! She should not be presiding over the souls of people, period!
But this matter raises a much bigger question for the Christian community.
It’s a travesty that servers across the country testify of bad behavior by Christian patrons.
This must cease!
Pastors, I plead with you. Teach your congregation to be generous to their servers. Teach them some manners!
“When you give unto the least of these, you’re giving to me. When you don’t give to them, you’re also not giving to me.” ~Jesus
Your example to the world will either represent God well or not at all.
It’s a shame that it’s said that Christians are the worst tippers in the world.
Many pastors will preach about the importance of being a giver, but in reality they rarely practice it.
Religious folk seem to have taken on this idea that they’re better than everyone else and forget this;
“The greatest among you is a servant” ~Jesus
Failure of the Mega Church
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