Reading the Word
Proverbs 14:4 (ESV)
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
Understanding and Applying the Word
It is nice to have cleanliness and to have everything neat and tidy. However, it takes work to get things done and work is messy. In today’s proverb, one can keep barns and mangers clean by not having oxen, but oxen are necessary for planting and harvesting crops. So, if we are going to accomplish anything in life, we have to be willing to get a little messy now and then.
I do not know about you, but this is an encouraging proverb. I always feel a little guilty about my messy desk or messy house, but I am reminded that such is necessary to get anything done. A messy desk is the result of the hard work of study and writing. A messy home is the result of raising children and helping them learn and grow. When you get tired of cleaning up and wonder why things are constantly becoming a mess, remember that this is the cost of hard work and productivity.
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