To Care or Not to Care

On occasion we receive a comment to a post that we might not approve for one reason or another. This one we felt was worthy of its own separate post. It was posted under this earlier post.

“I have to admit I find it condescending of you to pray for the waitresses salvation. Did you ask her if she was a Christian? If she is a Christian, she already has salvation so for you to pray for it sounds like you believe you have a ‘better line’ to God than she does.” a blog reader

Quite a few years ago an interstate bridge collapsed near St. Petersburg, Florida. Many cars drove over the top and down into the bay, killing those on board. If only someone would have been able to warn those drivers earlier. But what if the person willing to warn those driving toward the bridge had thought, “They might be insulted if I try to stop them, because maybe they are already aware that the bridge is out and are just going up there to look at the damage.” I’m confident everyone of those people who lost their lives that day would have been grateful if someone had cared enough to try to intervene. Which is worse, quick physical death or eternity in hell?

It is my experience that someone who is truly saved appreciates others who are concerned about their soul. Others who are lost and then become saved are grateful to those who cared and did something to help them avoid eternity in hell.

I expect if we had asked our waitress if she was a Christian, some might criticize us for that. You can’t make everyone happy. We have found that every time we ask a waiter or waitress how we can pray for them that they are grateful we love them enough to actually pray. You might try it. It’s a blessing for all involved.


“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

62 thoughts on “To Care or Not to Care”

  1. Mr. Maxwell,

    I have a question. I wanted to clarify something and it doesn’t change my initial post above in any way. When you say you prayed for the waitress and her salvation I am wondering if you say a prayer right there for her out loud or do you lift her up in prayer during nightly Bible time with the rest of the family?
    Every server we have prayed for then left and went on about their business serving others. We then asked God to bless the food and would pray for the server.


  2. Thanks for your gentle concern for people and the grace you show daily. We have been so blessed by your witness. Honestly, I have never had anyone feel “offended” when I asked/ offered to pray for them nor have I felt offended when someone has offered to pray for me.

  3. Thank you for the gracious reply, Steve. I have read through the salvation material you’ve posted on this site before, and it’s an encouragement to me. I have accepted God’s gift to me, and it’s a wonderful thing! I agree with what you said; it is about a relationship rather than a specific religion. That’s why I have been offended before, because the gift of eternal life has been offered to everyone! So for people who are witnessing to tell me that I do not really have it because of my religious affiliation is upsetting. On the original topic though, I think that praying for the waitress was not offensive and was a wonderful thing to do. With all of the terrible things happening in the world today, it is nice to hear about families who truly care for others!
    Bless you Sister.


  4. Thank you for your post.

    I was a waitress during my college years and received many tracts and other religious items from customers. I always appreciated them, particularly when given to me with a smile by a kind customer. I’d imagine the waitress at Olive Garden felt the same.

    As a Chrisitan, when I received tracts from customers who had been rude or failed to leave a tip, it made me sad. I knew this type of behavior caused many of my co-workers to disregard those tracts and to have a negative impression of both Christianity and Christians. Acting with kindness toward all those we encounter, as the Maxwell family has done so many times, is so important to encourage others to follow Christ.

  5. I just wanted to say something about that comment. Whether they are Christians or not, we can still pray for them. No one has a “better line to God than others” do they? We pray for those in our church that have health problems, have a new baby, have lost their jobs, etc.. don’t we? It doesn’t matter whether they are Christians or not. We should still pray for our country, unbelievers, and believers alike. We should minister to others.
    Mr. Maxwell, I think you did what was right. Single parents do need prayer, help and support with their children, and their own decisions. And you are right that you can’t make everyone happy. As long as God is pleased, you will be fine. 😉

  6. Keep up the good work, Maxwells! I don’t know about y’all, but seeing that non-Christians read this blog was amazing to me. Another opportunity for you to clearly present the gospel and you do that so well. May God richly bless your family this holiday season, how much more fun with the grandchildren too!

  7. Just a question~I’d like to know what the original poster had to offer a single mother working as a waitress. What hope, encouragement, or direction would have they offered given the same scenario?

    I am not the original poster but it seems to me that may be a bit presumptuous to offer hope, encouragement or direction to a stranger who is minding her own business.

    We all have our burdens to carry, and it is great to be cognizant of the burdens of others. But often the most considerate thing one can do for a waitress is to be kind, polite and leave a large tip! Now that’s encouraging!

  8. This reminds me of when David, prior to him being king, was accused of pride in wanting to defeat Goliath. David was willing to approach the enemy to protect the very persons belittling him.
    The blog post receives a whole hearted Amen from the heart.

  9. I think it is wonderful how the Lord has used the Maxwell’s blog to facilitate a respectful and honest dialogue between believers and those who have not put their faith in Christ. I pray that many would continue to draw wisdom and think deeply about what they read on this blog.
    Kim C

  10. “I am not the original poster but it seems to me that may be a bit presumptuous to offer hope, encouragement or direction to a stranger who is minding her own business.

    We all have our burdens to carry, and it is great to be cognizant of the burdens of others. But often the most considerate thing one can do for a waitress is to be kind, polite and leave a large tip! Now that’s encouraging!”
    :0) That’s the point. This family took the time to get to know what her burdens were. They cared enough to find out! Money only lasts as long as the time it takes to get the next bill in the mail. JESUS is real, viable, ALIVE and so able to meet ALL of a persons needs. Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, and Financial~that’s the free gift to all who know HIM. Not about HIM. HE is our real and living GOD! Who wouldn’t want that? Being Born-Again is a real relationship with our Creator, not religion.

  11. I’ve had bad experiences with over-zealous people offering “advice” where it is not wanted or warranted. I have also received a few tracts that were quite offensive to me in nature and did nothing to turn me to Christ and everything to turn me off.

    However, someone offering genuine prayer and encouragement is a different story for me entirely. The kindness of friends, family and even strangers have helped me to turn my life around and get to a better place – I am beyond grateful.

    Truthfully, only the waitress can attest to whether or not it was offensive or a blessing. I commend the Maxwells for posting about a sensitive topic in a gracious manner. I may not always agree with everything, but I have a lot more respect now.

  12. I’ve been thinking about this over and over. My family and the Maxwell are almost total opposite. But the time that I got to meet them they treated us like equals. I don’t get that a lot by other Christian homeschoolers. Most of them look at us like we are something under their shoes or a bad smell under their noses when they find out that my husband is a public school teacher and that our ministry is to the public schools. We homeschool, but we also spend lots of time working with the public schools.

    So thank you Terri and Steve for not judging us when we met last year. That really meant a lot to us. 🙂

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