We’ve all been there: It’s been 30 minutes and the food hasn’t arrived and the server hasn’t bothered to refill drinks. You’re stomach is growling when, finally, the food arrives –cold. Even worse, the order is all wrong.

By the end of your dining experience, the server has ignored you, neglected you, offended you, and perturbed you.

Its time to leave. You pay for the meal and receive your change. Now what do you do?

Do you walk away without leaving a tip? Do you leave a noticeably small tip in order to make a point?

You’ve got to send a message –but what will it be?


Hold that thought and fast-forward to Sunday. The sermon is focused in on John 13:34, “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

Just as you are about to “amen” the main point, a visitor sits down beside you. Its your server from the restaurant.

You keep glancing at her through the sermon. The thought keeps coming to mind: she is a real person with real needs.

Now your mind is racing: does she know Christ? Is she in the middle of a crisis? Does she have children? What is her family situation? Has she had a bad week?

Suddenly you see her differently –not as a bad waitress, but as a person just like you.

The service is concluding and she walks toward a church counselor. As she walks, she glances back to you. She remembers.


Now, rewind. You’re back at the restaurant. What kind of tip do you hope you left -one based upon performance or grace? Which one reflects the gospel? What kind of tip would Christ have left?

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