People are Messy…and Mighty!
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. 2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him. 3 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. 4 Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.
My focus this morning is on one of my favorite proverbs, verse 4. Though this verse speaks of oxen the parable applies to people. If you don’t have an ox, then you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after it. However, you also don’t have the strength of the ox to pull your plow. That’s pretty easy to understand. But there is much more to this idea. If you substitute people for oxen in your mind, then the true meaning comes forth.
What I think this parable is teaching us is that people are messy. Let’s face it, we all have problems. We all make “messes”. We all need care. But we also have great potential for service. None of us can “do it alone”, anymore than you could pull a plow by yourself. This verse has great application for ministry. Often it is easier to do a job yourself. You don’t have to train someone. You don’t have to deal with the “mess” they might make, but you also don’t take advantage of their strength. Life and ministry might be “easier and cleaner” if we do things ourselves, but only by involving others will we really accomplish the task that God desires. God’s plan is to use each of us, together, to get the job done.
It is definitely messier, but it is also mightier!