A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We're Never Too Old to Sin

From Missy Buchanan:
Not long ago I was chatting with a college student about his waitstaff position at a lovely restaurant in his hometown. I knew he was a favorite staff person among the locals and was considered professional and friendly. Somewhere in the conversation, he sheepishly mentioned his least favorite patrons.

“Church people… particularly OLD church people. They are the worst customers ever,” he said.

It would have been funny if I hadn’t known there was truth in his statement. There have been times that I have witnessed very un-Christ-like behavior from a group of silver-haired grandmothers pushing their walkers on the way to Bible study at their retirement community.

The young man continued. “They come right from church on Sunday morning. They’re all dressed up and wear their cross necklaces, yet they are rude and demanding. To make it worse, they are very stingy tippers.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am pretty sure this behavior is not representative of most senior adults who profess to be Christians. But all of us need to remember that as we age, we have the same bent toward sinning as a 20 year-old or a 50 year-old. It’s not as though we pass a magic age and somehow surpass the ability to sin.

It’s something to think about. May we always think about our behavior. Will it glorify God? You never know when a young man is watching.


Sharp said...

Good points all.

However, I think the tipping thing is more a function of age than of religious bent. As we get older, most all of us gradually get more incredulous at the tipping rates. In just the past 15 years, for example, the standard tip has doubled.

The waiter Missy quotes will no doubt - when he's 70 - be complaining about the 50 percent tips he'll be expected to pay in 2061. He will likely hear himself utter the words, "Back when I was waiting tables, we only got 20 percent ..." The test will be if he takes it out his frustration on the waitstaff or not.

Assuming there even are waiters or tips in 2061.

Anonymous said...

Posting Anonymously....

You should have seen the behavior at the retirement community at rhw Christmas concert. People who were still walking without aid ill-temperedly demanding that other individuals using walkers and canes get up out of "their chair" and find somewhere else to sit. It reminded me of Kindergarten without the teacher present.

My suspicion is that those who are mellow at age 30 mellow more with age. Those who are entitled at age 30 become more entitled with age. Or something like that.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Sharp, that is an excellent point about the percentage increase in tipping. However, I have discovered from knowing a few restaurant owners that the "expected" tip percentage is somewhat regional. In some place 20% is now considered standard, whereas in other places 20% indicates exceptional service.

Allan R. Bevere said...


Having been a pastor for twenty-six years I have witnessed more than my fair share of retirement home rudeness... and I think you are right-- rude senior citizens were likely rude young people in earlier years.