'Tips for Jesus' Sets the Bar High for Generosity

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?

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