Gospel Tipping: Why Overtipping Should Be Our Norm

So how generous are you in your tipping?  An interesting article that lets us examine if we tip based on how well people have served us, or on the fact that God has been so generous towards us?

by Caesar Kalinowski | Article from caesarkalinowski.com | 30 AUGUST 2015

Is it just me or does it seem that more and more people are expecting to be tipped for their services these days? And at increasing rates.

I just moved back from living in Manhattan and there I had to actually plan to have cash on me in small denominations at all times because it was such a tipping culture. Why do some people get tipped extra money for doing their jobs and others do not? And how should we respond to that? And what about people who kinda stink at their job, but expect to be tipped anyway?

Is tipping a hassle or an opportunity to practice generosity? And could it actually be a way to keep our own hearts aligned with the heart of God in little micro-bursts?

Gospel Tipping
As far as I know, my friend Jeff Vanderstelt was the first to coin this phrase: gospel-tipping. It was his suggestion that we tip people–waiters, baristas, taxi drivers, doormen etc. in light of how well we believe God has blessed us in accordance with our performance.

It works like this: we usually give good tips to people who we believe have given us good service. They have performed up to our expectation. And we might tip quite a bit less or withhold a gratuity all together from folks that we believe have given us poor service or had a less than awesome attitude.

But what if we were to stop for a moment and ask ourselves, “How generous was God with me? when I still held my fist up to him in defiance and rebellion, believing I could be my own God?” Well the answer to that my friend is that he gave his most valuable and precious resource, his own son, Jesus, to pay our full sin tab and redeem us. And in truth, the more sinful we were the greater in proportion his gift was, right?! The worse off we were, the bigger his salvation. God didn’t throw a little something extra at us to help us out, he gave us everything, completely taking our payment for sin, which is death, upon himself. He definitely over-tipped us.

So when we don’t tip someone generously, in some ways it reveals the truth in our hearts that we may not be fully believing the gospel. If God gave us what we deserved we would be screwed.

But He didn’t.

And now, if we shift our thinking, tipping can become this act of expressing the good news, tangibly to others. And it realigns our own hearts as well, reminding us of how over the top generous our Dad in heaven is. Even more than how others perceive my tipping, I know I need to tip well to remind myself of what I received when I didn’t deserve it.

So later today or tomorrow or whenever you’re tempted to give someone a small tip because of their “poor performance”, the next best time to think about gospel-tipping, and living as good news is now.

How about you?

When you receive poor service at a restaurant, what usually is your response? How might that change in light of this?