I visited Springfield, Illinois recently for one reason, to see the Abraham Lincoln sites. These historic places included the renowned Abraham Lincoln Museum and the home that Lincoln and his family lived in for 17 years. I also visited his law office, the old state capital and finally, his tomb. It was all so meaningful to see, and had been on my list for quite some time.
Lincoln was nicknamed “Honest Abe.” The name was first given to him when he was working as a young clerk at a store in New Salem, Illinois. According to the story, whenever he realized that he had accidentally shortchanged someone by even a few cents, he would close the store and hand-deliver the correct change to the customer, regardless of the distance that he had to walk. It is said that on one occasion he actually walked three miles to give someone the correct change.
Character is so important. Jesus said, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (Luke 16:10)
Character counts. It means everything. The famous evangelist D.L. Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.”
A visit to Springfield, Illinois, and thinking about Honest Abe reminded me about some important things.