Of course, the story of “pastor” Alois Bell scratching out the 18% mandatory tip on the receipt and writing in “I give God 10% why do you get 18?” is all over the internet now. I first learned of the story when my friend Marty wrote “An open letter to a fired waitress: I’m sorry we are so stingy.”
Bell has explained herself in an interview (see below). One waitress, who did not wait on Bell, posted an image of the receipt on the atheism section of reddit which set off the current viral firestorm. Bell left out of her interview that she called Applebee’s trying to get all parties involved fired as Gawker reports. Bell claims her reputation was ruined though I am not quite sure what she is preaches and teaches anyway.
I’m sorry this young lady lost her job. Yeah, I know Applebee’s had the right to fire her. Bell had the right to call and complain. But the fact is that all of this could have been avoided if Bell had just paid the tip without question or simply not went out to eat at a place that asks for tips.
Sadly, if you read comments on the various articles on this incident you will find that we Christians have some of the worst reputations on tipping. This should not be! I understand that tipping, unfortunately, is an issue in Christendom. I’ve even written a post about another tipping issue concerning gospel tracts in “Ethics: Leaving a Gospel Tract for a Tip.”
We can do better! If you don’t want to tip consider a fast food joint where no tipping is permitted. Though Christians should be more generous. Even Scripture reminds us, “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7 ESV).
My fellow Christians, the simplest solution: either plan on tipping well or don’t go out to eat!
Christians may also use this situation to their advantage by mentioning this story, apologizing, and tipping very well. You may even gain an opportunity to share the gospel!