When Christian conferences come into town, it is dreaded by many in the service industry. As a rideshare driver and a Christian, unfortunately, I agree. It seems so many have lost their way. They’ve forgotten, never learned or completely disregarded what being a Christian is supposed to look like. It’s sad. People should be delighted to have Christian conferences come into town instead of dreading them.
The first time I saw that there was a Christian conference in town, I was excited. I thought I would be driving and meeting many people who were kind and considerate and the week would be a blessing. I was wrong. Many of the people weren’t very friendly, some were downright rude, and, without fail, no one gave a tip for their ride. By the end of the second week, I tried my best to stay away from downtown Indianapolis where the conferences were being held. I felt beaten up.
That first week, I thought that maybe I had just been unlucky in picking up people who were having off days. However, the following week, when another Christian conference came to town, I realized it was the norm and not an exception. I then learned the bigger scope of the issue when I picked up a manager from an upscale restaurant downtown.
We were talking about his job and he began to share with me how he hated so many of the summer conferences that came to town. When I asked him questions and just listened to him, he shared with me that when Christian conferences come into town, most of his wait staff, who are known for their excellent service, would receive very low or no tips.
It only became worse when the manager went on to tell me that one “Christian” table left a “tip” stating something about how they tithed to God so they couldn’t tip their server because they didn’t like who they thought he was.
I couldn’t believe this happened. So I decided to do a little research on the internet. I was shocked to find story after story about how wait staff members hate working on Sunday afternoons because of the low tips along with complaining and hateful customers. At one point, there was even a website dedicated to allowing wait staff to post their thoughts on the matter.
This is so disheartening! None of these actions are a reflection of being a Christian. How can not tipping someone, being rude and hateful or leaving mean notes win anyone to Jesus? I would want nothing to do with Him if all I knew of Him were Christians such as these.
As Christians we are called to love others. We are to be a reflection of Jesus so that others will want to know Him. We are to be His hands and feet to help those who are hurting. We are to point them in the direction of the One Who can fully help them and loves them more than anyone could ever love them on earth.
Being a Christian doesn’t make someone better than anyone else, it just makes us free. And once we have that freedom, we want others to have it as well. We are followers of Jesus, Who gave His life so that we can be with Him for eternity, because not one of us is even close to good enough on our own to deserve that destiny. To be great, you are to be a servant. Jesus Himself came to this world not to be served, but to serve (see Matthew 20:25-28). He came to be with us, to be a mere man, to serve and make the way for us to be redeemed. If Jesus did not walk this earth with an air of superiority, why would any person walk this way in the name of being a Christian?
We have been given the Kingdom of Heaven. We are rich beyond measure. The Bible has many references about the good in being a generous person (i.e., Proverbs 11:25, Luke 6:38, Psalm 112:5, Luke 6:30). Being generous and showing love are both the calls of a Christian toward others.
So many Christians have lost their way, but the good thing is that the lost can find their way back and start going in the right direction again. I think we, as Christians, need to take a look at ourselves and how we are to others. None of us are perfect, but we can always get more aligned with His word and become more of who God made us to be.
~ Joanna Lynn