You just had a fabulous meal at a local restaurant. The waitress did a fabulous job and you were very happy with your service. It is time to leave and you reach in your wallet for a tip and your fingers land on that pack of Bible Tracts that Pastor Bob asked you to hand out. “Wouldn’t is be more important if I leave a tract as the tip?”
Answer? No, it would not.
Maybe I will get all the Bible thumpers flocking here saying, “What?! You are wrong! How unChristian is that?”
Believe me when I say I mean no harm in it, but covertly leaving tracts for someone to find is wrong on so many levels.
I once heard a waitress complain, “They come in for their Sunday dinner and then leave tracts about working on a Sunday.” I think you can understand why they would label this as hypocritical.
Honey, YOU are there on a SUNDAY causing them to work. Surely, some responsibility lies with you! If you do not think it is right they are working on a Sunday, then you should not be there either. If anything, you are causing work for them on a day they can be home with their families. And, if anything, you should be leaving them extra tip for the trouble.
Waitresses work hard for less than minimum wage. They have bills to pay, families to feed…. in short, they need to make a living. They depend on those gratuities to make ends meet. If they gave you great service, you should pay them for it. A tract used instead of a tip actually is sending a very wrong message. Jesus would not have condemned them and that certainly is not a way to get them into church.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
If you actually give them what they are due to help provide for their family, you are showing Christ’s love which will make a much bigger impact on them and think of the witness you would impress them with if you gave them much more than what is due.
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:44-45
And, instead of leaving that tract for them, give them the tip and a friendly invitation to your church service including the times of services.
Believe me. That will be received much better than a tract condemning them. Your tip may make them curious to find out what Christianity is all about. Remember!
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
You could also include a note of encouragement.
Christ often witnessed most effectively by eating with those who needed him most. He did not condemn them. He encouraged them. He could see past their filth and grime and into their hearts. He cared about them and wanted them all to be a part of His kingdom.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
There is an old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Imagine those tracts as vinegar and your gratuity, invitation and encouragement as honey.
Let your word be seasoned with grace. Colossians 4:6
So next time you are leaving a restaurant and pause to give a tip or a tract, ask yourself, “Do I want to be honey or vinegar?”
Just some FYI, a good tip is 20% of the bill and this is quite easy to quickly calculate. If the bill was $23.45, you would take 10% which is $2.35 and double it making it $4.70.