Beliefnet
O Me of Little Faith

I’m a pretty easy going guy, but one thing that almost always annoys me to the point of mutually assured destruction is a rude Christian. That phrase should be an oxymoron. But sadly, I know a lot of believers who are bursting with negativity and complaints and flat-out rudeness, especially when it comes to people in the service industry: restaurant wait staff, supermarket employees, retail sales clerks. Few things make me angrier.

(Of course, this is likely because I’m not much better. There are too many times when I’ve shown annoyance at a server because my food came too slow or my order wasn’t right. But I try not to. I really try.)

I bring this up because last week the Internet Monk called attention to another blogger’s unbelievable story about Christians in a restaurant.

Here’s part of it. Read the full account at Tom Steagald’s blog.

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A group of six church-goers came in last night after their evening services and sat down, not in her area but in another server’s. When the girl came to greet them and take their drink order, one of them said, “We want to tell you up front that we will not be tipping you tonight because…”

Are you ready?

“…we do not believe in people working on Sunday.”

The girl was taken full-aback, stammered out something that sounded like “I wouldn’t have to work on Sunday if so many church people didn’t come in,” or some such. She was furious. So was the manager of the restaurant whom she summoned to deal with them. I think he should have tossed the people out on their…uh…Bibles. To his credit, and demonstrating something like agape all around, he did say to them, “Well, we don’t believe in making our people work for nothing, so I will be serving you tonight.” And he did. God bless him.

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Wow. I’m seriously impressed by the manager’s response, which was far more gracious and Christlike than the actions of the Christians. I’m saddened by them. They thought they were being honest, I’m sure, by telling the server beforehand that she wouldn’t get a tip. But they didn’t seem to realize that they were the primary reason people worked on Sunday — because they were there to eat.

Read all of Tom Steagald’s original post here. For plenty more of these kinds of stories, check out the Internet Monk thread here.

And while you’re at it, read this intriguing article from USA Today. It’s about how CEOs have discovered they can tell a lot about an employee’s character by how that person treats a waiter.

It contains this quote, which comes from a book called Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management: “A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, or to others, is not a nice person.”

Not a nice person.

I think it’s safe to say you can tell a lot about a person’s faith by how they treat those in the service industry. Those who treat servers poorly don’t seem to understand that, as Christians, WE are supposed to be going about the business of serving.

Do you dole out to others the same grace you have received? How have you treated people today?

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