There was a story that hit the internet and went viral, even being picked up by a few news stations and talks shows. It was a story about a St Louis minister that had brought a large group into a local restaurant. The bill came and the size of the group activated an automatic 18 percent gratuity, a policy that was posted on the menu. This policy was not what triggered an avalanche of posts, reposts, news stories, comments, and even me bringing it up once again. Nor was it the service his party was given or the quality of food that set the information highway ablaze. What set off this big splash that sent ripples was that this ministers reaction to the tip.
What he did was he took the bill and lined out the gratuity line and wrote in: “I give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18?” I’m sorry, but that’s just plan rude! It’s unloving, as well as not kind, very uncaring to the server, and making God out to be like some strict miser that demands our money, so how dare you expect anything from us. Oh, and by the way the tip would have been $6.29.
Well another server saw what happened, took a photo of the receipt and made a post on a website thinking this insulting action would be funny to some and elicit some entertaining banter. Well it did elicit some response as people picked up the story and posted and repost it. Here is yet another story of followers of Jesus who are rude, uncaring, obnoxious, and feeling that they are exempt from normal kindness because they answer to a higher calling. How sad is that?! For did not Jesus say…
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
We are the radiance of the love of Jesus that does good (like tipping well) so people see how amazing and loving and caring and kind and generous Jesus is. And He is, so show it because our actions, yours and mine, matter. It matters how we treat our neighbors, how we do our jobs, how we act as a student, how we treat our spouse, how we drive (ouch!), and even how we interact when we get wronged. Jesus says:
Matthew 5:43-45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
See, love in actions matters, for when we are unloving, rude, selfish, greedy, angry and all that is not love, we send the wrong message about Jesus and the ripple effects are ugly. Like this incident; people have yet another reason to turn away from God and that person who posted this was fired. Sure apologies have been given and the minister regrets this lapse in character and judgment, but the story lives on…and so do the effects.
But what is also true is that when we put love in action it matters, it has the positive results and effects. It’s like when we see someone being nice we want to be nice. The attached video illustrates this. Check it out and be inspired to love knowing love in action matters.
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
So let’s do this…let’s be kind, caring, generous, thoughtful, hardworking, giving, and if we ever find ourselves in a situation where we are struggling, let’s choose love, for love in action matters.
Choosing to love like Jesus with you (and tip well!!),