Florida Man Deliberately Scuttles Another 'Pay It Forward' Starbucks Line
How it started:
A nice man, we'll call him John, loved the simple joy of giving. He was well-known in his community for his acts of kindness, always looking for ways to brighten someone's day. One morning, inspired by stories he'd heard, John decided to start a "pay it forward" chain at his local Starbucks Coffee Shop. He paid for his coffee and for the order of the person in line behind him, leaving the cashier with a smile and instructions to keep the chain going.
For hours, the chain continued, each person "seemingly" touched by the gesture, deciding to pass on the kindness.
How it ended, according to ABC News:
A Florida man put an end to another “pay it forward” streak at a local Starbucks because he said he thinks people were participating out of “guilt,” not “generosity.”
Peter Schorsch, a blogger, drove to the Starbucks drive-thru in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Thursday after hearing about the pay it forward phenomenon there that ended with customer No. 458, a woman, the day before. After he ordered two Venti Mocha Frappuccinos, the barista told him his first drink had been paid for by the previous customer and asked if he would like to pay for the next customer.
“I told him no,” Schorsch, of St. Petersburg, told ABC News. “When the barista asks you to pay it forward, it is no longer spontaneous.”
“I’m really not trying to be a Grinch,” Schorsch said. “I know things are hard for baristas and I am willing to help people.”
“I just don’t want to be forced into doing something." ...
When baristas ask customers to pay for the next customer, some patrons simply oblige out of guilt, not generosity, he said.
But before you go thinking all generosity was lost, story ends on a good note ...
Though Schorsch didn't pay for the next customer at the drive-thru, he said he tipped the barista $100.
This story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of keeping our first love of kindness and generosity alive, not just in actions, but in spirit.
In the early days of following Jesus, our acts of kindness are often driven by a heartfelt response to the love we've experienced in Christ. Over time, however, it's easy for our actions to become mechanical, a matter of rote obligation or compulsion rather than a reflection of a deeply felt love and generosity.
Just as John initiated the pay-it-forward chain out of a genuine desire to spread kindness, we are called to ensure that our acts of love, service, and generosity stem from a place of genuine care and compassion. When we act out of obligation or for recognition, we lose the essence of what it means to love as Jesus loved.
The call to not lose our first love is a call to remember why we started in the first place. It's an invitation to revisit the heart of our actions, ensuring they are rooted in genuine love and not merely in habit or expectation.
Whether it's in acts of kindness, our service to others, or our relationship with God, let's commit to keeping our hearts engaged, our motives pure, and our love fresh.
In doing so, we not only enrich our own lives, but also truly reflect the heart of Christ to the world around us. Let's not let our love become rote; instead, let's ensure it remains vibrant, heartfelt, and deeply rooted in the love we first received.
"But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first" (Revelation 2:4, ESV).
"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (NIV).