One of my favorite devotionals is Abraham Lincoln’s Daily Treasure: Moments of Faith with America’s Favorite President. In the book, Editor Thomas Freiling takes some of Lincoln’s sayings and the circumstances surrounding those sayings and works them into a short devotional. I would like to share a few excerpts from this book, unfortunately without much of Freiling’s commentary. However, I believe you will still be able to appreciate them.
Lincoln once said, “”If you make a bad bargain, hug it all the tighter.” Freiling then writes, “For Lincoln, honesty was nonnegotiable. Even if he made a promise that, in the end, wasn’t any good, he still kept his word.”
“Lincoln understood how badly the country wanted God to answer its prayer to end the war––quickly. But in quiet desperation, he begged citizens, ‘Let us be quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, in his own good time, will give us the rightful result.’”
“In a conversation with L.E. Chittenden, Registrar of the Treasury, Lincoln once explained why, at times, he ignored the advice of other people. ‘In almost every instance where I have yielded to the views of others, I have had occasion to regret it,’ he told Chittenden. ‘I am satisfied that when the Almighty wants me to do or not to do a particular thing, he finds a way of letting me know.’"
“Abraham Lincoln took literally the Bible’s admonition to be the ‘light of the world.’ In a letter, Noah Brooks once wrote of Lincoln, ‘He said that after he went to the White House, he kept up the habit of daily prayer. Sometimes it was only ten words, but those ten words he had.’”
“During his lifetime of trials and tribulations, Lincoln’s disposition was remarkably content. Even during the darkest days of the Civil War, he portrayed a peace that surpassed the nation’s understanding. ’It is difficult to make a man miserable,’ he said, ‘when he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.’”
Words + Actions = Integrity
Frieling, Thomas, Ed. Abrahams Lincoln's Daily Treasures: Moments of Faith with America's Favorite President. Fleming H. Revel: Grand Rapids, MI. 2002.