It is common knowledge that Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was “Honest Abe.” But how did he get such a reputation for honesty? What major event took place to cause the public to espouse such virtue to his very name?
“Honest balances and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work. It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.” —Proverbs 16:11-12
Early in his adult life, Lincoln ran a small country store. As he was getting ready to close up one evening, he was balancing his money from the day. He realized that he had unknowingly taken too much money from a customer. He put the amount in his pocket, locked up the store, and walked all the way to the customer’s house. He knocked on the door, explained what had happened, and returned the money.
On another occasion, he realized the next morning that the afternoon before he had inaccurately weighed out some tea on the store scales for a lady customer. The woman didn’t receive the amount she had actually paid for. Lincoln carefully weighed out the amount needed and delivered the difference to the lady’s home.
Taken alone, none of these stories seem noteworthy; however, the sum total is indicative of a lifestyle to which Lincoln adhered.
Honesty and integrity were important to him, regardless of the amount of the discrepancy. He knew small added up to big. This is what made him one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States and also allowed him to carry the people through one of the greatest crises in its short life.
TRUTH, help me to remember that You don’t just know truth, but that You are the embodiment of Truth. Qualities such as honesty and integrity come directly from You. May I be known for truth and righteousness in my words and actions.