Most of us claim to be pretty good tippers. Certainly there are bad tippers, but it seems very few actually admit to being one. After all, most tend to realize that stinginess reflects poorly on one’s character.
So what do you tip when the service is really bad? I mean really bad such as when your mouth is burning from the salsa and it takes five minutes to get a refill, or when the server walks by you swiftly without making eye contact, or rolls his eyes when you ask for a side of A1. How low do you tip then? I have asked this to folks before, and typically the response is still north of 15%.
So why do we have churches filled with people who struggle with being generous to the Lord and His kingdom? Has His service been that poor? Was His rescue of us from the prison of our sin just average? Have some concluded that His pursuit of us, in the midst of our sin and shame, is unacceptable? Has His gift of the Holy Spirit not met our expectations? Does the promise of everlasting life just not measure up? Has He failed to deliver on His promises to us?
Where there is a lack of generosity, there is a lack of deep appreciation for Jesus.
When we lose our sense of wonder for Jesus and His work for us, we become stingy.
A lack of generosity indicates a loss of awe for God’s grace.
When our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude for the debt He has paid, generosity is the result. For this reason, when the apostle Paul challenged the Corinthian believers to excel in giving, he reminded them of God’s generosity towards them.
Now as you excel in everything — faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us — excel also in this grace. I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:7- 9).
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing His grace should result in our generosity. Surely there are people who display generosity out of obligation and not out of delight, out of desire to alleviate a guilty conscience, or in an attempt to earn favor and not with hearts full of wonder for God’s grace. Yet those with full hearts give. John Wesley said, “It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.”