Truly, my experience serving food has uncovered a side of Christianity that is appalling and disheartening. Nowhere have I seen Christians be more un-Christian than when sitting down to eat. In their attitudes and actions I have seen many, many Christians completely ruin their witness toward servers, waiters, and cooks. And I have stories; my word do I have stories.
When I worked catering in college I served the faculty, staff, and students. This was a Christian college—it taught and preached and lived the Bible. Except when it came to food.
When we set up breakfasts for meetings, we would often catch secretaries in the act of dumping whole basketfuls of coffee supplies into their purses, who would then hastily explain their actions by saying they didn’t know the supplies weren’t free for the taking.
I’ve seen professors (on more than one occasion) steal trays of donuts, danishes, and muffins out of meeting rooms for use in their own classes—always with the excuse that the food “wasn’t labeled” and was thus up for grabs.
I have been verbally criticized and belittled by pastors, professors, and Christian leaders for late food, early food, cold food, warm food, too little food, too much food, or food they simply don’t like.
And worst of them all? Christian women’s conferences. In those, if food and drink is not available at all times, in all forms, and modifiable for every preference, we servers became villains. I have seen more hate, anger, selfishness, greed, and jealousy at Christian women’s conferences than all other food service events combined. …
What’s my point, you may be asking?
Simply this: How you behave when you eat in public can be one of the most powerful witnesses you have for your King Jesus. Believe me when I say, you will be a witness. Whether you are a good witness is up to you.
So when you walk into a restaurant after church dressed in your Sunday best, please be polite and smile. Please be gracious and forgiving, and never ask to see the manager with a complaint. When it comes time to pay, always be generous—because a server’s estimation of your character will be based entirely on the tip you leave. The biggest impact you can make for Jesus is simply tipping well.