Oh how I cringe when I hear stories like the one told in the local cafe the other day.
I was breakfasting with my hubby and another pastor when the sweet, young waitress came to our table to take our order.
We asked how she was doing and she began sharing about her frustration with a recent customer that she had served.
The man had ordered about $20 worth of food that included biscuits and gravy.
Her fellow waiter had waited on him, and she had checked him out at the counter.
Before he left, he commented on how bad the biscuits and gravy were, questioned her abilities as a waitress and left a measly two dollar tip.
Having never had any complaints about their biscuits and gravy or their service, she was apologetic and somewhat insulted but handled herself well.
Along with the two dollar tip, the man had left a gospel tract that had the name of their church on it.
She vented on us that she was aware of that church but knew they would not like her having a tattoo and she most certainly would never walk in the doors because of the self-righteous, condemning attitude of the man who had criticized the service.
In her opinion, that man could care less about her whatsoever. He felt he was doing God a favor by leaving a tract and inviting her to church.
Well, hip-hip hooray as they say.
I contrast this to two young men I know who handle waitresses a different way.
Whenever they go to an eating place, they ask the waitress or waiter how they are doing and thank them for their service whether it is the best or not. Sometimes they hear that their server is not having a good day and they offer to pray for them.
Even though they have a small income themselves, they love to give an above and beyond tip just to make the day of that person who is waiting their table.
They feel that if they call themselves Christians and are to represent Christ then they have a responsibility to love people like Jesus does. If Jesus loved prostitutes and tax collectors then that sums up waitresses and the rest of us as well.
The bigger issue for us if we call ourselves Christians, is not whether we are getting the service that we think we deserve but whether we are serving. Christ came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Can we do any less, if we say we bear His name?
So to the man in the cafe and others who think they are doing God a favor along with all of Christianity, can I just say please don’t. Please stop. Please do the rest of us a favor and feel free to go on complaining, patronizing and being self-righteous, but leave God out of it. Don’t mention you go to church, don’t leave a tract and please don’t pretend to be a Christian. You are leaving some of us with a big mess to clean up after.
Although we ourselves are far from perfect, we are trying to love like Him and extend his grace. We will take people where they are at because Jesus took us where we were at. He bids us to come and follow Him and to bring others along as well.
We may think we are slapping God on the back when in fact we are giving him a black eye.
We do well to remember that in the whole scheme of life, biscuits and gravy don’t matter but people do.