As Christians, we have been called to be servants. Furthermore, not just any average servant, but a servant who serves with pride and excellence.

December 11, 2023

How Much was it Worth?

Recently, my wife and I were able to carve out some time to go on a date. Any parent with small children understands the need for a date night and values these opportunities when they present themselves.

The dinner at this restaurant was fairly standard and the service was a touch above average. As we were wrapping up our meal, the check was placed on our table. While I scanned the charges to ensure accuracy, my eyes gravitated to the total of our meal. It was at that moment I recognized that a 20% service fee (gratuity) was added to the total. The next line provided a separate opportunity to give an “additional tip” above the included service fee. This particular restaurant then listed suggested additional tip amounts, ranging from 18% up to 30%. 

Anyone who has visited any restaurant or establishment where services are rendered recognizes the purpose and value of a tip. Most often, one bases the amount of a tip on the quality of service (or lack thereof) provided to them. Thus, the consumer has a direct line to express their perspective financially, for the work and service provided by those attending to them.  

As Christians, we have been called to be servants. Furthermore, not just any average servant, but a servant who serves with pride and excellence. However, while serving, we too are also being served, with extraordinary daily care from our Lord and Savior. His services are categorically above and beyond anything we could ever ask or hope for. 

Going into this season of thankfulness and giving, let’s ask an important question of “what amount of offering should be given to express the level of appreciation for what God has provided throughout this year?” While we return 10% as a faithful tithe, offering is a matter of thankfulness and generosity. 2 Corinthians 9:7–8 states, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 

This passage pertains to various opportunities of giving in our everyday lives. However, as we freely give, let us always remember Christ first in our giving. If there is a willingness to pay for a meal consumed and in addition give a tip of 18%–30% to express our appreciation of services rendered, how much of an offering should be deserving of services rendered by God? Is the heart willing to give more for services carried out at a restaurant than to the Creator and Source of all things? May our action in giving offering truly reflect the love and appreciation we have for what Christ has done for us throughout the year 2023. 

Jermaine Jackson serves the Lake Union Conference as associate treasurer and Stewardship director.