We came across a wonderful proverb in our morning men’s Bible study.
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. - Proverbs 14:4 ESV
Such a rich text to consider. Far-reaching application to all venues of work and productivity. Do you want to be free from having a messy barn? No problem. Just have no animals. Only problem then is that you’ll have no crops.
Productivity is messy by nature. The church is no different. Want to keep your church neat and tidy and free of mess? No problem. Just don’t have any oxen working there (1 Cor. 9:9). But don’t expect any plowing or harvesting or grain treading to be taking place there.
Let us remember that no harvest was ever won without toil and a certain level of manure shoveling. If the character of your ministry or church is that it’s sterile and clean, then it may be that you aren’t actually laboring for any fruit. Don’t be surprised or disheartened as you deal with the messiness of sin.