‘Tips For Jesus’ Instagram: Selfless Giver Or Elaborate Humble Brag?

A ‘Tips For Jesus’ Instagram account, chronicling the adventures of a mysteriously generous tipper, is causing quite the stir this holiday season.

Tipping has been in the news a lot lately, especially the apparently false accusation of one waitress against so called Christian tippers. But this Jesus tipper is no hoax. An apparently wealthy person, or group of individuals, opened an Instagram account on September 8, 2013 with the phrase “here we go.”

Since then the anonymous tipper has traveled from California to New York visiting bars and restaurants leaving outrageously generous tips. On December 5, 2013, ‘Tips For Jesus’ left a $3,500 tip on a $391.95 meal at ‘The Smith’ restaurant in NYC. That’s a merry Christmas for some wait staff.

With such wildly radical tips, some restaurants were concerned the payment would not go through. There was a false report that two American Express charges at the ‘Legends of Notre Dame’ restaurant in Indiana totaling $10,000 were declined. But the Instagram account posted a picture showing that in fact the American Express charges had gone through without a problem.

While this three month giving spree has sparked an internet sensation, hopefully leading to more generosity from others who learn of the story, one has to wonder if the obviously wealthy giver isn’t doing a little humble bragging.

Jesus, who the mystery tipper claims to represent, is recorded in the book of Matthew as saying,

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

One could argue that leaving crazy disproportionate tips and then posting the photos of those tips for all the world to see would qualify as “practicing your righteousness in front of others”.

With that being said, the giver’s identity is still unknown and that should count for something. So what do you think about ‘Tips For Jesus’, selfless giver or elaborate humble brag?

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