Wisdom is better than weapons of war. (Eccl. 9:18)

ONE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S biographers tells the story of the great man’s travels in Rhode Island on a raw, blustery day. As deputy postmaster general, he traveled around the colonies in the course of his work.

On this particular day, the tavern where he stopped was filled with two dozen people crowded around the room’s only fire. In a loud voice, Franklin told the tavern keeper’s son, “Boy, get my horse a quart of oysters.”

“A quart of oysters?” replied the incredulous lad.

“You heard me, a quart of oysters,” he repeated.

The boy obeyed and all the patrons ran outside to see this phenomenon, a horse that ate oysters.

The horse snorted and refused to have anything to do with the oysters. When the people trooped back inside, they found Deputy Postmaster General Franklin sitting happily in the chair closest to the fire.

He had not said, of course, that his horse liked oysters. He simply asked the boy to get a quart. Instead of demanding respect for the office he held, insisting on being shown preference, or alienating the crowd by pushing his way to the fire, he simply found a way to distract them.

Most of us would get along better in life if we used wisdom instead of forcing our opinions on others. Better to use creative wisdom than to apply crushing force.

Determine to use wisdom in your relationships today.

Ron McClung works at his denomination’s world headquarters and lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons and nine grandchildren.