Honesty: Abraham Lincoln

This year, my school has implemented a new virtue program. As part of this cornerstone virtue program, a virtue of the month is related back to our cornerstones of faith, scholarship, honor, and courage. Each Chapel, a student reads a virtue minute that allows the community to learn and recite a virtue verse together and hear a story that illustrates the importance of the virtue. I craft these simple little stories and would like to share them with you. Here is my first offering:

Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed. Proverbs 12:19

abeAbraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. One of his nicknames was Honest Abe. Legend has it that when a young Abraham Lincoln was working as a clerk in a store, he realized he didn’t give a customer the proper change. Lincoln walked a great distance to make it right. His reputation for being honest carried over into his career as a lawyer and politician. While he was President, he said, “I hain’t been caught lying yet, and I don’t mean to be.” Today, we not only remember Lincoln for his honesty, but also honor him for never giving up on the United States in the midst of Civil War. May we too have honesty that brings honor.

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2 thoughts on “Honesty: Abraham Lincoln

  1. Honest Abe? Really? He committed acts of war w/o Congressional authorization. He shut down presses and arrested the owners. (Amend. 1). He arrested Congressmen and other officials who spoke against him (Vallandingham, Taney, etc.). He violated the 2nd Amend. In Maryland. Thousands of Maryland citizens were arrested for being suspected of Southern sympathies… held in prison for years w/o trial. Took private property w/o just compensation or due process of law. Honest Abe? Only in dreams. Only in dreams.

    • What you say is true. And I knew it when I wrote the text. I discussed this reading with the head of the history department before we shared it in Chapel to ensure that the nuances were historically accurate. If you read the text carefully, I include, “Legend has it,” and the quote, which clearly indicates he’s only never been caught. Despite the actions you list, he is still known as Honest Abe and that’s what was highlighted. Personally, I think his greatest credit is that he never gave up on the idea of the United States, when others clearly had. Blessings, W

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