Conversation was not happening.
Recently, I got my haircut at a different place. My usual was out as scheduling would just not work, so I headed to the traditional barbershop where my son gets his haircut. I introduced myself, but over the course of the haircut conversation never unfolded. I tried all the leads – weather, sports, current events….nothing. As a person always looking for a connection to what makes people move, it was frustrating.
Then it came time to pay the bill and write the tip.
What would you do?
The cut was fine, no problem, but part of the art of being a stylist is engaging the customer in conversation. The truth of any profession is that one must care about the lives of the customers as much as one cares about the quality of the service. It was short in this case.
Then, I wrote the tip. I doubled it, tipping 100% of the bill.
Instantly, his face changed. A genuine smile came out, and what seemed at least a pure thank you – a rarity in today’s world. Sometimes a little act of grace has a way of turning a day around and maybe that happened here.
Generosity needs to take the lead. It is an act of grace. It is also unearned. And although generosity runs the risk of being abused by the person receiving it taking it for granted, the truth is a life without acts of generosity and grace is a far riskier way to live. Imagine what the world would look like if you got only what you deserved?
Currently, I am reading the book Give and Take by Adam Grant. It is a business book – (you can find it here) but his premise is there are two types of people – givers and takers. And while at first glance it may seem that takers are those that get ahead in the long run, his conclusion is that actually givers do. The person who gives their time, goes the extra distance, and donates without expectation of return is the person who lifts an entire team rather than simply lifting oneself.
In this case, good business makes good theology. The Bible is filled with encouragement for us to give.
Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. – Luke 3:11
Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back… – Luke 6:35
Give, and it will be given to you. – Luke 6:38
The divine irony is that we receive what we most want when give what we most want away. Live generously this week. Your life will change for the better, and the lives of those around you will be blessed.
(thanks for reading, if you found Jesus in this please comment and share)