This past week, a St. Louis pastor was indignant when an Applebee’s computer added the mandatory 18% tip to her receipt after she was dining with some friends. It was based on the large number of people at her table. Frustrated with the policy, she placed $0 on the “additional tip” line and wrote the words “I give God 10% why do you get 18?”
Well this annoys me on so many levels…
- Way to give non-Christians another reason to dislike Christ followers; as if they needed any more reasons. Congratulations Pastor, you just threw more kindling on the already raging fire.
- You have also fed the restaurant-server-hatred-of-Christians syndrome. Many restaurants have a mandatory Sunday rule which requires new employees to work on Sundays. This is the time of the highest Christian attendance but the lowest deposit of gratuity. Servers actually pay each other when they find out their table is occupied by church people who are known to be rude, demanding, obnoxious, and have the worst attitudes. Then they leave a Gospel tract but leave little or no expressions of appreciation for their service.
- I’m going to use this is an opportunity to agree with people who refuse to tithe because they believe it’s exclusively an Old Testament Principle. I don’t believe that God wants 10%…He wants ALL of it…100%. He wants every part of our lives. So much more is expected to be surrendered as followers of Christ. And what sacrifice is that really–the fact that we gain salvation through Jesus–hardly an unfair trade.
There is a story in Luke 17 when Jesus heals 10 lepers of their dreaded disease. This was a major miracle because there was no cure for this ailment. Those who had leprosy were forced to be outcasts from society, reduced to begging on the streets, and shouting about themselves the word “UNCLEAN!”
Jesus instructs them to show themselves to the priest in accordance with Mosaic Law. On the way, one of the lepers realized he was healed and returned to Jesus praising God and bowing lowly before Him. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” I’m not sure if this is anywhere near Christ’s intent with this passage, but it still hits home the point. Only “10%” of the group expressed gratitude. The other 90% was inaccessible to God. Hmmm…
We tend to get legalistic when it comes to the tithe. I would say it’s a good starting place. But in reality, God’s wants everything we have to be used for His Glory. Not just our resources but our time, efforts, thoughts, talents, attitudes, etc. God’s point isn’t for us to put everything in the offering next Sunday. But He is desiring everything we have and everything that we are. And that we would be ready and willing to give whatever He asks should the occasion arise.
So, pastor from St. Louis, please don’t patronize either of the Applebee’s in our town unless you’re able to bless their servers with at least 20% of your bill. Either that or please don’t associate yourself with God, much less use Him as an excuse to be stingy.