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‘Tips for Jesus’ Sets the Bar High for Generosity

One anonymous patron leaves tips all over the country that make even the most generous tippers look cheap.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

December 5, 2013 - 2:00 pm

Tips For Jesus

Lately, we’ve heard too many stories of chintzy tippers. There’s the story of the Alabama fan who refused to tip his Auburn-fan server after Auburn’s surprise upset of the Crimson Tide on November 30. A server in New Jersey garnered a ton of media attention when she claimed a family refused to tip her because of her homosexual lifestyle (several people have cast doubt on her claims, and she is now suspended from her job). And of course Christians have earned a reputation for tipping poorly. So, hearing about an anonymous bar and restaurant patron who leaves massive tips all over the country and posts them on his Instagram account under the moniker “Tips for Jesus” encourages me.

Micah Olson learned about the man Tuesday night only after he left the Phoenix restaurant he co-owns. The mysterious man arrived with a woman and asked Olson, who was working behind the bar, whether he had ever heard of Tips for Jesus. Olson hadn’t.

“Oh, you’ll hear about it later tonight,” the man laughed — and then proceeded to order several $70 drinks for himself and his friend.

When the man closed his tab, he bought a round of drinks for Olson and his fellow bartender and left a $2,500 tip on his $530 bill.

[...]

According to his Instagram account, the mysterious man is “doing the Lord’s work, one tip at a time.”

His gratuities have ranged from $500 on a $24 bill in Hollywood, Calif., to several $10,000 tips, all dropped within the last three months at bars and restaurants along the West coast, in the Pacific Northwest and in several Midwest states.

Tips for Jesus has left his mark all over the country, seemingly in conjunction with college football games (some of his messages lead others to believe he’s a fan of the University of Southern California). He has even posted screenshots of his AmEx bill to prove that the huge gratuities are legitimate.

Will Tips for Jesus inspire others to tip better? I know I’ve rethought what I pay to servers since I’ve discovered TFJ, and though I can’t afford three- and four-digit tips, I’m hoping I can show more gratitude to people who serve me. After all, what better way to show the love of Jesus than through generosity?

All Chris Queen wanted to be growing up was a game show host, a weather man, or James Bond. But his writing talent won out. By day, Chris is a somewhat mild-mannered office manager for an IT managed services provider, but by night, he keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture and writes about it. In addition to his Disney obsession (as evidenced by his posts on this website), Chris's interests include college sports -- especially his beloved Georgia Bulldogs -- and a wide variety of music. A native of Marietta, GA, Chris moved with his family as a child to nearby Covington, GA, where he still makes his home. He is an active charter member of Eastridge Community Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to his work at PJ Media, Chris spent nearly a year as a contributor to NewsReal Blog. He has also written for Celebrations Magazine and two newspapers in Metro Atlanta. Check out his website, www.chrisqueen.net.

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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I may get some flack for this, but this leaves me uneasy. Yes, Christians are free from the legalism of other religions, and yes, Christians are free to spend their money any way they see fit. Giving to the poor, and letting them know why, is a good thing. So is giving a business your money if you can afford it.

But it seems to me that a Christian who really wants to put his money to good use, would do more good taking his eight hundred dollar dinners and seventy dollar drinks, and giving that money directly to missions where that money is so desperately needed, and where it will be put to good use. I doubt any Hollywood waitresses are going to respond, "hey, look at this wad of cash -- I think I'll put my faith in Christ for substitutionary atonement for my sin."

Perhaps it seems like this guy is assuaging his guilt for his life of ease and gluttony through cursory tipping. Maybe he's not -- but it sure seems that way.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
What kind of drink costs $70?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
This would be impressive if he weren't bragging about it.


No, the fact that he's staying (so far) anonymous doesn't change that. He's still bragging.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
And now, just a few days later, his "cover" is blown and we know who he really is. Oh, shock, oh amazement.

Right.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know, it would be better to wait until the servers shift is ended and they've clocked out, then give them the money as a gift vice a tip so its not taxable. (I know, he's paying with a credit card but he could buy some pre-paid cash cards or use cashier's checks made out to cash, or...)
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pathological altruism is not Christian charity. It's a disorder. Taking it is wrong.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I respectfully disagree-

An individual deciding what he can give to others out of his own property is definitely charity. Now, whether its pathological is dependent on his own circumstances, what he has, what his values are, what is important to him, his health, etc.

Now, I would agree that if you knew someone was giving away money they needed to live, or that they had the inability to say no every time you requested money, that it would indeed be wrong to take money from them.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure it is. That's the sermon on the mount in a nutshell.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
The practice of tipping,which is neither clearly voluntary nor clearly obligatory, which makes feigned display of generosity an inescapable routine, is yet one more unnecessary cause of nervous strain for those to whom insincerity doesn't come naturally. It is, after all, the seller's duty to state his price to the would-be buyer. If he shirks that duty he has no business complaining when he gets the absolute minimum.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Awesome story.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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