The 20% Rule

I pride myself on being a good tipper. In college I worked at a nice restaurant as a waiter to help pay my way through college, so I appreciate the challenges of earning a living on a base pay of $2.13/hr. plus other people’s generosity.

I almost always tip at least 15%, and often tip considerably more than that, but there is a certain time when I almost always tip at least 20%, and that is when our server has overheard us talking about the Lord at the table. I call it “The 20% Rule.”

Talk to anybody who has waited tables for any length of time and they will tell you the Sunday religious lunch crowd are the worst tippers. When I was a waiter, no one wanted to work Sunday lunch for this reason, and from what I’ve heard, not much has changed over the years. The word is out: religious people are terrible tippers.

The problem is that when Christians are bad tippers, whether it be at Sunday lunch or any meal where they’ve given their server an indication they are Christians, they are representing to the world that Jesus is stingy. It’s called being a bad ambassador for the kingdom of God.

So, I created a personal rule some years ago that if I we talk about religious matters at the table and suspect our server has overheard, I tip at least 20%. I’m representing King Jesus and life in the Kingdom; I want to make sure I represent both truthfully. Very simply, Jesus is generous, so I should be generous. The 20% Rule helps me remember to do so. GS

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