7 Reasons Why You Should Be A Generous Tipper

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Are you a thief?  Do you steal from people while eating at restaurants?

I’m not taking about silverware, napkins or anything that belongs to the restaurant. . .but whether or not you’re stealing from your server.

Malachi 3:5 in the Message Bible says:

“Yes, I’m on my way to visit you with Judgment. I’ll present compelling evidence against sorcerers, adulterers, liars, those who exploit workers, those who take advantage of widows and orphans, those who are inhospitable to the homeless—anyone and everyone who doesn’t honor me.”

If you do not tip the proper amount (18%) then you are exploiting the worker (server).

In most states, restaurant servers are exempted from minimum wage pay.  They generally receive a third to half of the minimum wage amount. . .so they support their families on your tips.

If you do not tip someone for their service. . .then you are exploiting the workers. . .and that, my friend, puts you in the same category as sorcerers, adulterers, liars and the people who take advantage of widows and orphans.

There are seven reasons why you should be a generous tipper and I just shared # 1 with you. . .DON’T BE A THIEF.  But here are several other thoughts on this point.

1 Timothy 5:18 says:

“For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”

The labourer is worthy of their reward. . .tip.

Luke 10:7 says:

“And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.”

Some of you are thinking this doesn’t apply to me. . .yes, it does.

Since servers get paid less than minimum wage. . .any shortfall is made up by their tips.  In essence, the restaurant is paying half their wages and the other half is being made up by your tips.  If you do not tip the person properly. . .you are exploiting their wages. . .which means. . .you’re stealing from them.

2.         Be a good witness.           

Do God a favor. . .if you’re generous in sharing Bible verses with your server but stingy with your tip. . .stay home.  God doesn’t need you as a bad witness.

Every Sunday after church. . .in thousands of restaurants across this country there are large number of Christians. . .who after hearing the gospel for an hour or two. . .become terrible witnesses for the Kingdom of God.

I’m amazed. . .no saddened is a better choice of words.  I’m saddened by the “Christian” people who will leave a fake $20 bill as a tip.  One side is what appears to be a $20 bill  and the other side are scriptures.

My opinion. . .it’s a disgrace to God and the faith you claim to promote to pull such a stunt.  Now, if you want to put a real $20 inside the tract. . .that’s a different tory.

On of these fake $20 tracts has the verse “silver and gold have I none, such as I have I give to thee.” 

Unfortunately, this time of witness has the opposite effect. 

At one time or another all three of our younger children had been servers in restaurants.  Our youngest son’s occupation is that of a server in an upscale TexMex restaurant.

I’ve been told by them on numerous occasions how their co-workers don’t like working on Sunday. . .because that’s the day church people show up.  That’s a bad witness to many of these unsaved servers.

Romans 2:24 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For, as it is written, The name of God is maligned and blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you!”

People who don’t tip. . .give our generous Heavenly Father. . .a bad name among the unsaved.

Proverbs 18:19 says:

“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

However, if you’re a generous tipper. . .you’re giving God a good name.

Colossians 4:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Behave yourselves wisely [living prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world (the non-Christians), making the very most of the time and seizing (buying up) the opportunity.”

Do you want to be an effective witness for the Kingdom of God. . .you have that opportunity every time you eat out?

One last thought.

If you pray before you meal. . .make sure you tip generously.  If you don’t tip or do so generously. . .don’t shame our Savior’s name by praying.

3.         Don’t be a goofy Christian.

Goofy is more than a cartoon character at the Disney theme parks. . .he/she are oftentimes seated next to you in church. . .or your favorite restaurant.

I read where Pastor Thomas S Steagald told this story about his daughter who worked at a Chili’s restaurant.

“A group of six church-goers came in last night after their evening services and sat down, not in her area but in another server’s. When the girl came to greet them and take their drink order, one of them said, “We want to tell you up front that we will not be tipping you tonight because…”


Are you ready?


“…we do not believe in people working on Sunday.”


The girl was taken full-aback, stammered out something that sounded like “I wouldn’t have to work on Sunday if so many church people didn’t come in,” or some such. She was furious. So was the manager of the restaurant whom she summoned to deal with them. I think he should have tossed the people out on their…uh…Bibles. To his credit, and demonstrating something like agape all around, he did say to them, “Well, we don’t believe in making our people work for nothing, so I will be serving you tonight.” And he did. God bless him.”

These church-goers. . .I’m reluctant to call them Christians. . .are hypocrites.  They believe in the cooks working on Sunday but not the servers.  What a crock.  (Umgaya).

If you don’t believe people should work on Sunday. . .then stay home.

By driving on the highways on Sunday. . .you’re causing policemen to work.

By buying gas for your car on Sunday. . .you’re causing the convenience store attendants to work.

By enjoying air conditioning, heat and electricity in church on Sunday. . .you’re causing utility workers to work. . .because they have to monitor the facilities.

By watching sports on Sunday. . .you’re causing people at the TV stations, networks and sports arenas to work.

Stop being goofy. . .it’s becoming to you.

4.         If you don’t plan for your tip. . .plan to stay away.

Years ago, after speaking at a Debt Free Rally in Indianapolis, Indiana, I arrived at the airport of Sunday morning.

I headed inside to the first class line at American Airlines but God directed me to stand outside in a line with a dozen people in front of me. . .waiting for the skycap. . .in just my line.

God allowed me to see that none of the people in front of me tipped the skycap.  Not a single one.

What makes this even sadder is that all of these people have flown into Indy to attend a weekend seminar by an internationally known pastor.  They were outfitted and adorned with scarfs, totes, t-shirts and other paraphernalia with sayings like “The glory came down”; “Jesus Is Lord”; “I’m Heaven Bound” and so on.

But yet not a single one tipped the skycap in front of me.

As I approached my skycap I mentioned that I had not seen a single person tip him while waiting in life.  He said, “it’s been a dry morning.”

Overhearing my conversation, two ladies behind me. . .dressed like Christian billboards said, “we spent all our money at the meeting.”  She then proceeded to tell me how glorious the meeting was. . .how there was a first offering, a second offering and a wave offering.

I remember well saying to that lady, “I’m a pastor and I believe in offerings. . .but if you keep justifying not blessing this man. . .I’m going to give you a heave offering.”

Then I asked, “what kind of witness are Christians being to this man. . .who’s out here working to fed his family.”

I gave the skycap at $20 bill for checking one bag and headed in the terminal. 

I vividly remember that day and the conversation. . .I just hope those in line behind and around me. . .do as well.

Back to restaurants.

Some people say they don’t tip. . .because they spent all there money on the food.  My advice. . .eat something cheaper or go to a less expensive restaurant and stop stealing from your server.

5.         Whatever you do for your server. . .God will do for you.

Need another really good reason to tip generously. . .read Ephesians 6:8 which says:

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”

When you do something for anyone else. . .you will be rewarded. . .not by the person(s) you blessed but by the Lord.

Now I can get excited about the Lord doing for me. . .what I’ve done for others.

Conversely, if you’re stingy with your server. . .God is going to be stingy with you.

It’s the law of sowing and reaping.      

One more scripture.

Deuteronomy 15:10in the Message Bible says:

Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.”

6.         Tip by grace.

“Yes, but Brother Harold, if my server does a bad job. . .I don’t tip him/her to teach them a lesson.”

First, teaching your server a lesson is not your responsibility.

Second, even bad employers are still paid.  So if you withhold wages from them. . .you are stealing from them as we discussed earlier.

Third, not tipping or being a cheapskate makes you a bad witness.

If you’re ever around any of our three younger children. . .ask them what I do when we receive bad service.

They will tell you that as we prepare to leave the restaurant I will walk up to our server with their tip money in my hand and here’s what I will say to them.

“I don’t know if you’re having a bad day. . .but the level of service we received from you was not up to what I think you would want it to be.  If you plan a career in food service I suggest you think about our conversation.  But I’m going to give you a generous tip. . .not because you earned it. . .but because we like blessing people.  I hope you appreciate my honesty with you.”

I hand them the money and walk away.

I’m not tipping them because they earned it. . .but because of grace.

You know grace. . .the unmerited favor. . .God gave us. . .even when we didn’t deserve it.

The amount you tip. . .is more a reflection of who you are in Him and how you think than the service given you by the wait staff at the restaurant.

Deciding to tip someone based solely on their performance is a mentality based on works and not grace.

7.         Be a generous tipper.

There are restaurants in our city. . .where the servers ask me to sit in their section. . .because they know I’m a generous tipper.

We’ve raised our children to be generous tippers.  Not only that, but over the years, our children have witnessed my Dad and I “discussing” how’s going to pay the bill.

I will share with you a strategy. . .which never falls.  If you want to pay the check and the server starts to hand it to someone else. . .just quickly say, “you’d better give me the check because they don’t believe in tipping.”  It works every time.  I’ve even had servers take the bill out someone’s hand and give it to me.

Funny and oh, so true.

Our youngest son Jamie is an amazing tipper and he does like to on occasion snatch a check away from his Dad.

Now let’s talk about why you should be a generous tipper.  Truthfully, for all the reasons previously mentioned. . .all six of them. . .but here are a few other key scriptures.

2 Corinthians 9:8 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

The New Living Translation of 2 Corinthians 9:8 says:

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

Notice this verse says “. . .you will always have” it doesn’t say you might have, you could have, you should have. . .no it says “YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND PLENTY LEFT OVER. . .”


2 Corinthians 9:11 in the New Living Translaiton says:

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. . .”           

Once again, the scripture says “YOU WILL be enriched in every way.”

The scripture doesn’t say some ways. . .a few ways. . .no, it says EVERY WAY.

When I’m a generous tipper. . .and bless others. . .I will be enriched in every way.

Can you say.  . .check please