No Brown M&M's

Luke 16:1
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.
But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater
responsibilities (v.10).

When rock band Van Halen was riding the
wave of popularity, they insisted that a bowl
of M&M’s be provided for them backstage at
their concert venues. Yet every brown M&M had to be
removed from the bowl. If the band arrived and found
even a single brown M&M in the bowl, they would cancel
their performance but still receive full compensation.

Since the band was rolling out as many as nine lorries
filled with the latest in performance technology, there
were many errors that could occur both in setup and
presentation. If the promoters didn’t take time to read
Article 126, the no-brown-M&M’s clause, they certainly
had not checked the entire production, and they were
bound to run into life-threatening mistakes.

The ridiculous contract demand by Van Halen
illustrates the principle of stewardship that Jesus taught
in Luke 16. He encouraged His disciples to be faithful
with their earthly wealth because it wasn’t theirs but
God’s (v.10). Their ability to manage these possessions
properly and be faithful over the “little” (earthly wealth
and possessions) that had been loaned to them would be
an accurate barometer of their ability to handle “much”
(the true riches of eternal life). If they wrongly valued
earthly possessions, they would certainly misprize the
significance of the kingdom of God.

Jesus is still calling His followers to pay attention to
the “brown M&M clause,” that is, to carefully use, control, and manage God’s
possessions, for it is a measure of our ability to handle true riches. It begins with
recognizing that all we have belongs to God. He gives us the ability to produce
wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17), and He commands us not to hoard our resources
(Matthew 6:19). God expects us to release our possessions into His service
by blessing others (Matthew 19:21).

—Marvin Williams

Read 1 Timothy 6:17 and identify what our responsibilities are as
God’s managers.

How would you grade yourself as a manager over all that God has
loaned you? What can you do to be a more faithful manager
over “little” (material possessions) and “much” (true riches of eternal