The media frenzy started earlier this year when a pastor asked the question to get out of tipping an Applebee’s waitress: “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”
It bothered me then, but for all I knew it was just another hoax intended for views (which it actually turned out to be true.) The issue didn’t truly get me boiling until I saw similar wording on Facebook on a friend’s picture. You mean other people might really think this way? Really?
Since it appears there are Christians everywhere asking this, as a born-again believer and former waitress, I will gladly offer my input on the situation.
You give God 10%, so why should your server get more? Here’s why:
1. If you are only giving God 10% of your income, I would lovingly encourage you to reevaluate your giving. I believe, like many other Christians, that the Bible calls us to give 10% of our income as tithes to the Church. I believe that this is an act of obedience to show your love and trust in the Lord. However, I believe this is not all we are expected to give. I believe we should pray about how we can give to others around us, and let the Holy Spirit guide us throughout the week instead of letting our checkbook guiding us on Sunday mornings. Perhaps it is packing a box for Operation Christmas Child or maybe it’s as simple as giving a struggling family a warm meal to eat. Whatever may be the case- if your giving in the Lord’s name stops at the offering plate, you are in bad shape.
2. God doesn’t need your 10%. Really, He doesn’t. He doesn’t need your 10% to work miracles, to show grace, to provide for others. So please, stop acting like your 10% is a holy contribution to the heavenly realm. Your 10% is an act of obedience on Earth and a blessing to your church family, but it does exempt you from showing his light to others. When we are commanded to tithe, it isn’t because God is tight on cash, it is because he is wanting us to truly *want* to give back to the church just part of what He has blessed us with. Which brings me to my next point…
3. It is not your money to begin with. Every good and perfect gift is from above, and anything in your possession that is a blessing to you is from the Lord. If you get a paycheck, it’s because the Lord has blessed you with a job. Guess what? Your job can be gone tomorrow. In the Bible, Christ often tells people to give up their possessions in order to follow him. In another instance, Jesus frees one man of his debts who only turned around to try to collect money from somebody else. By our greedy nature, we like to either cling to our money or spend it like there is no tomorrow. The truth is: our money, wealth and possessions will not store up treasures in heaven for us. Only our acts of faithfulness in this world will do that.
4. Everything you do is an opportunity to be a witness. Sometimes, people think in order to be a witness you need to have a Bible and tract in hand while approaching everyone who makes eye contact to preach at them. While that sort of witnessing can certainly be effective, it is not the only way to go about it. Five extra dollars in Christ’s name can go a long way in making somebody’s night. Now, keep in mind, I am not expecting everyone who reads this to give an outrageous tip (unless the Lord prompts you to do so)- I’m just trying to make you see past the 10% scale.
To give in Christ’s name is simple: Give Glory to God.
-Say a prayer before your meal.
-Write “God Bless” or “Have a blessed evening” by your tip.
-Say “Merry Christmas” and mean it. (The restaurant I worked at told us to say “Happy Holidays” unless the customer prompted Merry Christmas first. Crazy, huh?!)
-Leave a tract.
However, as this article Christians tipping states so well, do not act selfishly and try to witness in other areas. It gives Christians everywhere a bad name.
Buuutt…. What if I feel prompted to leave a 30% tip, and instead of diapers for her baby, my waitress blows the money on cigarettes?
Give anyway. Sure, that sucks. But it’s not your job to dictate how the money is spent, it is your job to be faithful. God will recognize your efforts even if the person you are blessing is a bad steward of their money. No act of obedience is ever wasted.
Buuuttt… What if I can only afford a 10% tip? Money is really tight right now.
If you can only afford to tip 10% on your tab, you probably spent too much to begin with, at which point I would ask why you could afford to splurge on dinner and drinks if you couldn’t afford to tip generously in the end (For example- $5 on a $50 tab is 10% while $5 on a $25 tab is 20%.) Consider skipping the appetizer and leaving that money for your waiter instead. If you truly can’t afford to tip at all, then you are definitely at the wrong place to eat. My husband and I only eat at a sit-down restaurant once every couple of months for that reason- it’s expensive! We can’t afford to eat out every Friday night, and many others are in the same boat.
In conclusion, if you choose to dine out, please reconsider your perspective on the 10% issue and give generously instead. Come on peeps, it’s Christmas!