I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance. Everywhere and in all things I have learned the secret, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Phil. 2:3-4).
Our resolve to bless those who live on tips (servers, valets, hairstylists, bellhops, your Uber driver and so on) should be a core value—even when their service is poor. My wife and I never decrease the tip by even a penny if we receive poor service. Why? There are many reasons. They may have had a bad day. The kitchen may actually be at fault. They are dealing with depression. Their family situation is bad and declining. They dealt with rude customers at their last table. Or, possibly, they have yet to meet Jesus. I guarantee I am not going to try to "teach them a lesson" by decreasing my tip instead of blessing them in the love of Jesus. If we can't bless those who don't refill our drinks quickly enough, how can we presume to bless those who use and curse us?
"But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well. Give to everyone who asks of you. And of him who takes away your goods, do not ask for them back.Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" (Luke 6:27-31).
When the Bible talks about curses, that includes verbal assaults, insults and all sorts of mistreatment. We don't seek revenge. We don't try to teach them a lesson. We don't leave a nasty note on the check. We don't decrease our tip. We don't attack them back. We love them. We bless them. We give.
Breaking Free From Poverty and Entitlement
I know many who are reading this are rejoicing. Many Christians are tired of others being such a poor representation of Christ. Many servers are tired of dealing with selfish, entitled people. There is a black mark on Christianity because of many in the after-church crowd on Sundays who eat together. They can be demanding, loud, difficult to deal with, entitled and absolutely terrible tippers. It's embarrassing, and many servers out there have had enough. I know servers who despise working on Sundays. Great job, Christians. You've made quite a name for yourselves. Here's some advice: If you can't love your server and financially bless them radically, just stay home.
Nobody has the right to eat out if they can't afford it. I was engaged in a Facebook discussion on this topic, and some came out of their skin with indignation that I would say such a thing. They feel no obligation to tip their server, and they believe their financial condition should have no bearing on whether they can eat out or not. I wondered if they also might just pay whatever they want instead of the total on the check. Do they just pay what they can afford when checking out at Walmart? Of course not. But, they choose not to pay their server's bill (their tip). This is a clear indicator of being driven by poverty and entitlement. If you can't afford to tip at least 20 percent, you can't afford to eat out. Most definitely stay home or eat somewhere where tipping isn't expected.
In order to break free from poverty and entitlement, we must crucify our flesh and become radical givers instead of expecting others to meet our needs. There are many mad people in the world. Mad at pastors, government, friends, their church family and others for not meeting their financial needs. This mindset will ensure they remain sad, angry, disillusioned and in lack. We break the demonic grip of poverty and entitlement by turning the tables and giving with passion instead of expecting others to give to us.
He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts in the treasury. He also saw a poor widow putting in two mites, and He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these out of their abundance have put in their gifts for God. But she out of her poverty has put in all the living she had" (Luke 21:1-4).
The poor widow had every right to be bitter at the church and at the rich. The natural reaction when in lack is first to look to others to resolve our problem, and second to despise them when they don't. The widow was applauded by Jesus because of her heart. She had the greatest need, yet still gave everything she needed to live on. She wasn't entitled, and, believe it or not, she didn't have a poverty spirit. She certainly wasn't offended.
Here's a comment by my wife, Amy:
'We have always tipped both in times of plenty and in times of lack. During our first year of marriage we were very poor, with (nearly) no money for Christmas presents and a sack of potatoes for Christmas dinner. We were barely scraping by. However, if we chose to eat out, we calculated the tip amount into the cost when deciding whether we could afford to do so. I'm sure our server made a better living than we did at the time. It didn't matter. It's never appropriate to withhold what a server is due in an attempt to better our own financial situation.'
I remember that season very well! In fact, I still vividly remember standing next to the sack of potatoes in the grocery store in Cleveland, Tennessee, 23 years ago, wondering if we should use our few remaining dollars on it along with a frozen chicken. That was to be our Christmas dinner. We did buy the potatoes and had just a little cash left over. On Christmas morning, my gift from my wife was a belt (that didn't fit) and my gift to her was a Jenga game (that she was upset I bought because we needed that $10 for bills). That afternoon we had friends over to eat our chicken and potato feast—and then my wife burned the chicken. One of our friends ran home to get a frozen pizza. We enjoyed a wonderful mashed potato and frozen pizza Christmas dinner!
In that season, finances were scarce, though we were working hard. Our car was bashed in on the passenger side, and the doors didn't open. We had to steer about 30 degrees to the right in order for the car to drive straight. We replaced the tires with $5 used tires once every couple of weeks due to the misalignment. We couldn't afford a repair.
The bottom line is we had almost nothing, and we rarely ate out. Why? Because we knew our $40 check would end up being $50 after tip. Instead, we'd eat at home or grab something from McDonald's. It wasn't our right to eat out if we couldn't pay our bill—including what was owed to the server.
It wasn't only our faithful giving to the church and to ministry that broke us out of lack. It was a "widow's mite" attitude. We expected nobody to pay our way and we knew we must be radical givers at restaurants and other places. If we couldn't afford to tip, we stayed home.
The same is true with the church. I can't imagine how anybody would attend a church, utilize their children's ministry, receive teaching and be welcomed with open arms without giving extravagantly. We should give radically to the church, period. We should attend church with the same attitude as when we eat out. We are there to bless them instead of expecting them to bless us. We want to give with passion.
It's true that the church is called to take care of widows. But, here's the problem: When we stomp our feet and demand to be served because of this instruction in Scripture, we align ourselves with the spirit of entitlement and poverty, even though the church should, in fact, be helping. We should give and bless even when we aren't taken care of in ways we should. Don't blame; don't point fingers.
the condition of having a right to have, do or get something
the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
In a self-centered, narcissistic world, one can only presume entitlement would be in the mix, as well. This attitude is doing great harm to our testimony as Christians in addition to creating a proud, lazy people who expect to be served instead of to serve.
I've heard about godly people who always tip double their check. I love this! While I wouldn't suggest it's mandatory to do this, I would suggest it's mandatory to tip at least 20 percent. In fact, I'd encourage you to consider other opportunities to break off spirits of poverty and entitlement such as tipping double the check, paying for another patron's check (including a huge tip), occasionally tipping five or six times the amount of the check or more and other opportunities to radically bless. When we give to others instead of demanding they give to us, the spirits of entitlement and poverty lose their grip.
A Spirit of Offense Will Ensure You Remain Enslaved to Poverty and Entitlement
Too many live offended lives. Offended that others aren't taking care of them financially, offended that others are prospering and they aren't, offended that they are continually overlooked. We should live free from offense. In fact, I'd like to offer my most popular teaching titled "unoffendable" at no cost to you. Trust me, it's a revelation that will change your life dramatically!
A spirit of offense is absolutely deadly. It will cause your love to grow cold and your heart to harden. It's a death sentence.
This spirit will cause you to rise up against others instead of serving them. Your unmet demands and expectations will result in a dark soul, a life of lack and deep resentment. This threefold cord of poverty, entitlement and offense will imprison all who embrace these evil spirits.
When we break these three spirits off our lives, and discover the power of kingdom finances, we can live free and full of joy, no matter how much money is in our account
Faithfully giving and passionately tipping all who serve us out in the world will result in remarkable, prosperous, victorious lives!" John Burton declares!
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