God does not absolve believers of living in the economic realities of this world. While he does say his laws are higher than Earthly laws, none of his laws absolve us of tipping waiters and waitresses who provide you a service. Like paying for a house, car or food for your home, you are expected to pay the price for services rendered to you by other people. There is nothing in the Bible that says we can choose to pay some people but not others for the same services on some abstract Christian premise that tipping is unnecessary because we believe in God.
We live in a culture of tipping. This is not a culture of immorality that conflicts with God's laws. There has been so much rampant "Christianizing" on restaurant tips that it has me wondering by what thin justification supposed "Christians" are using not to tip their servers?
Now, there is actually an economic foundation for not tipping. The word "tip" is actually used from antiquity and does not originate in the "to insure prompt" service acronym we all have long been taught. The modern economic premise is in the form of "gratuity," paid in an average of 15% per meal cost to the server. This has been common for a very long time, longer than anyone alive today. If the server has performed poorly, then withholding the gratuity is acceptable. Or, perhaps, if you have very little money and must eat out, forgoing the tip would be appropriate, if undesirable.
And if you were to bear one of these reasons, your choice not to tip would be understandable. Even if you were a miser and merely didn't like offering more money than the meal cost, that too would be appreciable.
Leave it on a sidewalk, but don't leave it for someone who actually worked for your money.
But to leave fake $10 bills on the table, to draw Icythus fishes on tip lines or otherwise lord your religion -- and make no mistake, this isn't faith or a relationship with God, this is cold, law mongering religion -- over people who may not share your faith and whom, I guarantee will never turn to Jesus because you left them a tract in stead of an expected tip.
Jesus says to be generous. What part of stiffing the server so you can skimp out on the price of a meal shows generosity? If you can't afford the tip, then you need to eat at home. If you are on the road or for some other reason must eat out and cannot eat at home, don't be so hypocritical and unloving as to exchange a tip that server might need to pay their bills for a "Jesus loves you." You know what? Demons know that Jesus loves humanity. Satan can quote the bible better than you can.
But what is the most powerful of qualities when living in faith?
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing ... - 1 Cor. 13:1-3
You who think God absolves you of living in this economy, you might be a pharisee at heart.
You can be as preachy and religious as you want, but if you don't operate in love, then all your efforts to be holy are for nothing. Jesus demands we operate in love. Paul speaks here in Corinthians that operating in love is more important than any other quality we could learn from God. Jesus said that the greatest of commandments include loving the lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.
I'm not saying that you can just tip your servers and count it as love. It's not about the "doing." It's about your heart! And to that, we operate in faith, and our faith should be seen in our works. If you think that telling people that they should seek Jesus instead of expecting tip money, I don't think you understand how Jesus drew people to loving and knowing him.
Every time Jesus spoke to people, he always first helped take care of their needs. He healed them, fed them, took care of them. He fed their bodies and then addressed their souls. Without that, they could never move from the short-sighted corporeal into the long-sighted eternal. If they don't think you aren't looking out for them in every area of their lives, that your love is deep and honestly concerned with their well being, your message of Jesus will remain impotent and meaningless.
Jesus understood that, and that's how he exercised his ministry at every turn. If you think your ministry is best served by a lack of generosity, a severe dose of religiosity and self righteous hypocrisy, then please, continue offering tracts and scribbled shallow messages out a Jesus people will never see in your life.
If you really want people to meet Jesus, you have to start living like Jesus before they'll see him. That means being generous, open and loving. That means tipping the homosexual server. That means feeding those who don't believe as you believe. Showing love doesn't mean you accept what you see as sin, it means accepting who you see as people! And Jesus saw everyone as people. And never forget:
The only people Jesus scolded were those who thought they knew how to live all the laws of God, and yet had no love in their hearts. Who are you tonight?