Christians and Tipping, Part 2


I’ve had a big response to my last post, “Christians and Tipping.”

One particular question several of you have asked is, “But what if our waiter gives us bad service?”

I think that’s a great question. And here’s my answer: 

When the service we receive at a restaurant is sub par, we are perfectly within our rights to reduce the amount we tip accordingly. Western culture is based on the concept of justice, of right-and-wrong. There’s nothing wrong with that. To pay our servers in proportion to the quality of their work is expected.

But what if we Christians did the unexpected?

What if, instead of tipping justly, we tipped lavishly and graciously? What if, when we received bad service, instead of giving a small tip, we actually gave a huge tip, clearly beyond what is deserved or expected?

What if we tipped out of our abundance instead of according to our server’s performance?

What if by doing that, we could share a tiny taste of the overwhelming, undeserved love of God with our servers? What if this small act of grace could awaken a thirst in our servers for its Source?

Wouldn’t that be infinitely more exciting than saving a few dollars?

6 thoughts on “Christians and Tipping, Part 2

  1. I like the idea, but what if the server isn't aware that they gave bad service? Would the lavishness in response to it be lost on them? Are we doing it for their benefit, or just doing right in the eyes of God? It's always good to do right in the eyes of God, of course, but I'm wondering what the server's response would be? I guess I'd like to see them change their ways, but maybe that's not the point 🙂


  2. Your line of thinking here represents what it truly means to live in God's Kingdom. His Kingdom is now. His Kingdom is one where grace abounds irrespective of our performance. He lavishes us with it regardless of what we do/don't do because his extension of grace is about who he is, not who we are.

    I tend to be thankful for this lavishing of grace when it applies to me, but can think it unfair when it's distributed to others. (see Matthew 20) Yet, as his follower and one meant to be a conduit of his grace to others, I need to extend it to others lavishly, as he does to me.

    Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing.


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