Where there are no oxen, the feeding trough is empty; But an abundant harvest comes through the strength of an ox.—Proverbs 14:2 (HCSB)
The easy way is to avoid responsibility is to take on as few obligations as possible. Having an ox to help with the plowing also means taking responsibility for his upkeep—filling the trough with food. Supplying it; hauling it, having it there when needed at the right time, etc. It’s easier to avoid all of this by having an empty (lit., “clean”) trough.
But to fail to assume responsibility means that one fails to reap the benefits that come through it. This principle can be applied widely to all sorts of work that requires added responsibility to receive additional benefits.
But there are lazy people who make no effort to assume responsibilities beyond what a minimum of effort requires. Are you one of them? A Christian ought not be. You should endeavor to do all that God has enabled you by strength and opportunity to do to live a thoroughly responsible life.
Why? There are a number of answers to that question; I’ll mention one: so that from the abundance which you receive you will be able to help others who, because of their lack of such endowments, cannot keep up on their own. We’re not speaking of helping other lazy persons, but those who truly are in need.
Is your oxen’s trough full—or clean?