I was once asked which Proverbs were my favorites. At that time Proverbs 14:4 had caught my attention and touched my heart, so I included it. I could see that my friends were puzzled and you may be wondering. This verse is not my all-time favorite, but on this day the message of the verse was fresh on my mind.
Reading this verse I pictured an unhappy farmer cleaning the dung off the crib of his oxen, despising the mess they made everyday. These were the same animals that labored long pulling the farmer’s plow. Without the oxen, the crib would have been clean (or empty), but so would be the farmer’s refrigerator or barn or whatever places the harvest replenished each season.
I think this proverb is meant to be taken literally; it’s about oxen and farmers. Still, we may apply the general message to ourselves. People we depend on may cause us some discomfort at times, but we would be wise to honor them and forgive their mistakes.