Christians: Be Salt & Light, Even in Restaurants

As Christians, we are called to be salt and light in this world. So how do we act differently from the world? Do we live out our faith on a day-to-day basis or is Sunday the only day we exercise our faith? Do you and I act differently than those who don’t believe in Christ Jesus as their Savior?

Our behavior, words and actions signify our faith more than we realize. We are called to share the Gospel with others, but let’s also examine our actions. How many times to we even think about how our actions affect others?

When my brother worked at Cracker Barrel many years ago there were several churches that would go out for coffee or iced tea and visit with each other after their evening services. Rarely was any food ordered but there was inevitably a large group, generally twelve to sixteen people which required two servers. These nice folks never even thought about the fact that they were tying up these tables and preventing the servers from making a livelihood. They wanted refills of their drinks and asked for the “free” biscuits, so they required quite a bit of attention. After their two or more hours of visiting, they would toss a few dollars on the table without giving another thought to the financial drought they had created.

In a casual dining restaurant, the average turn time for a table is 48 minutes. To keep tables tied up for two hours with a very minimal tip hurts the servers who are working and is a poor Christian witness. One evening, a young server asked these people which church they were from and excitedly they told her and invited her to church. She said, “no thanks, I just wanted to know which church to avoid because you are so selfish that you deny me the chance to make a living.” Instead of being a wakeup call about their behavior, these same people were back again the next Wednesday evening. This is not the witness that Christ has called us to portray to the lost of this world.

In defense of the clueless church members, they probably never took the time to think about the fact that since they were not ordering any food, just drinks, they needed to leave a large tip to make up for the income they had denied these servers. This goes on in many towns across the country. We need to think about how our actions affect others and not give Christians a bad reputation.

We have a friend who is an evangelist and he deliberately tips servers and bus personnel very well as he says they have a hard job. They do, and these workers will listen to what he has to say and are truly interested when he witnesses to them.

When a group wants to meet with friends but don’t want to order food, why not patronize a fast food restaurant or stay at the church and meet in a classroom? Fast food restaurants generally have beverage stations and since people come and go all the time, don’t mind if a group sits down and chats. It would be nice to order some food along with the drinks, but if nothing is ordered, a servers time is not being taken up.

As Christians we need to look at how we present ourselves to a lost and dying world. Do we truly care that others are dying and going to spend eternity in hell if we don’t share Christ with them, or are we nonchalant? What motivates us? Are we always ready with an answer for the hope of Christ Jesus that lies within us? I Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:6 should motivate all of us.

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