(Proverbs 14:4 KJV) Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
I love this. I want to quote it to my wife when she tells me I need to clean off my desk or clean out the car.
There are trade-offs in life. Sometimes we have to decide if we want things “clean” (1249) or if we want “increase” (8393). Work is often messy. Go look at a construction sight. Visit an newspaper and observe where the writers work. Go to a farm and ride a combine. Crawl under a house with a plumber. People sweat. Dirt happens. The results are what keep life moving forward.
An even better question is what does God want? I am sure that the answer will be different at different times. Knowing which to go with is part of the life of holiness. It requires thinking. It is unlike the robotic response of legalism. There will be times when we are to sit back and keep a situation orderly. There will be other times when we plunge ahead and let the chips fall where they may.
“Increase” (8393) is profit. This is a dirty word in many mouths, but is approved by the Bible. The morality of profit is in the adjectives. Is it illicit or honorable? Was it based on fair balances or cheating. Don’t be afraid to make a profit but make sure that your methods and products are to the glory of God.
This also makes a statement to animal rights people. The purpose of the animal is to benefit the child of God. The ox or whale is not your brother. Don’t get too carried away here. The man has a responsibility to the animal but one is the tool the other. Remember that tools need to be cared for.