Disclaimer: For the sake of the case being make, please bear with me as I make some blatant generalizations about Church going Christians.
It is said that Church going Christians are the ones that tip the waiters least when compared with every other category of restaurant goers. I do not know how true this allegation really is, but I would think that there seldom is smoke without fire. After Church, as I was sitting with fellow Church goers at a restaurant having lunch, I was wondering why church going Christians had this reputation when it came to tipping waiters. Below are my meditations.
Perhaps it is an interesting irony that a Christian who comes out of an awesome Church service is often the most mean guy walking on earth because this is when he feels most self-righteous. It is when the Christian thinks that he is indeed the Christ-ian that he is least likely to be a one. Though this is one of the causes for the notorious reputation of Christian tipping, I think that the reason for stingy Christian tipping goes deeper than this. Even those Christians who are penitent enough to not feel too self-righteous are often prone to a bigger Christian Evangelical pitfall – being lead by ‘the spirit of entitlement’.
When a Post Enlightenment, Post Reformation, Post Christian Evangelical Christian goes to Church, he exudes with a sense of chronic entitlement. He feels entitled to a great worship service, he feels entitled to a good message, he feels entitled to communion – all of this free of cost. Then he goes a step further, just because he is able to say ‘Halleluiah, Praise the Lord’ and then claps hands when he sings or perhaps jumps about during worship service (perhaps in his mind, trying to mimic King David) he thinks he is entitled to the ‘presence of God Almighty’.
When he walks out of the Church with this spirit of entitlement of having even earned God with a few easy techniques, he, possibly quite unwittingly, is prone to be the most snobbish being. The worship leader, the priest and God have served him without expecting a tip (unless he goes to a mega church where the pastor invariably always makes a claim to the attendee’s tithe). Nevertheless, he is most pampered and attended to at the Church, he thinks that the Church exists to pamper and re-charge him at the end of a tiring week.
All of his burdens are laid down and he is in the mood of ‘post-awesome-worship-service cloud-nines’, lead continually by the spirit of entitlement he is insensitive to the kindness and the service of the waiter gives him and consequently does not feel ‘moved’ to tip him. On the other hand, on a Friday after a week’s tiring work which breaks down his sense of entitlement to anything in life, if the Christian were to go to a restaurant, he would be more appreciative of the service rendered by the waiter and would feel ‘moved’ to tip him.
Isn’t it an irony that the harsh realities of the world that teaches him that there is ‘no free lunch’ would better minister the Christian than the comforts and pampering of the Church. If only Church going Christians would understand why the waiters think they suck.