Sunday, September 16, 2007

If you can't afford the tip, you can't afford the meal

Today we witnessed the proverbial "after church" crowd at Monterrey, our favourite restaurant. There were three families clearly there after church, with a bunch of kids. There they were: kids were screaming, chasing each other around the restaurant, climbing in and out of empty booths while shouting at each other. In short, they were brats.

Christians are an embarrassment in public.

A non-Christian friend recently told me she used to work as a waitress in college. She said on Sundays there were always people there after church who would not leave a tip, because she shouldn't be working on Sunday. Of course, they always left gospel tracts...

It's embarrassing.

So here are a few ethics I would consider minimal if you're a Christian and go to a restaurant:

  1. If you can't afford to leave a tip, you can't afford to eat out. Go to McDonald's or get take-out from KFC. Or even get one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. But don't cheat the waiter.

  2. If you actually pray visibly and audibly in a restaurant (and I encourage that), you better tip heavily. I would suggest you tip 20% as a baseline. Terrible service is worth 15% if the waiter sees you praying, hears you talking about church or the Bible, or sees you in a tie at Sunday lunch.

  3. If you leave a gospel tract, tip a few dollars more. I knew a guy once who tipped at least $20 if he left a tract: that's not a percentage, and we weren't eating big---that's being more concerned about the Lord's reputation than his own wallet.

  4. You had better make sure you treat the waiter with respect: say "thank you" when he brings you your drink; say "please" when you ask her for a refill. And don't---whatever you do---don't ever make sarcastic quips. It's entiely possible the waiter is useless. It's possible it's the worst restaurant experience anyone ever had. But if you are publicly claiming to be Christian, you need to uphold a much higher standard. Complain to a manager if you like; better yet, complain to the waiter himself, but do so politely and calmly.

  5. Keep your kids under control.

It's in the little things that our Christianity is evaluated.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


You know, I never really thought about this before; but the one Man who actually obeyed God at every turn and every moment was the One who knows Him. Not just knows about Him; but knows Him.

I've been thinking about that, because I think there is a key principle involved. That is, I am convinced we don't trust God because we don't know Him. And we have trouble obeying Him, because we have trouble trusting Him. But if we were really convinced of His goodness, that would certainly affect our obedience.

I know, there is sin in the flesh; there is that in us that rails against God. But there is still the principle that knowing God leads us to trust Him.

So Christ, the One who really knew God, is also the One who completely trusted Him.

I'm thinking about that today.