Today’s Scripture: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Exodus 20:16

As we look back on the life of Abraham Lincoln today, let’s consider how he became known as ‘Honest Abe.’ He received the nickname as a young store clerk in New Salem, Illinois. If he found that he had shortchanged a customer, he would close the store and return the change no matter how far he would have to walk.

As people recognized his honesty, he was asked to judge disputes in town. He was then elected to the state legislature and later began his law practice. Lincoln’s advice to potential lawyers is something that I wish our country practiced today. He said, “Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.”

Lincoln recognized that the truth was more important than winning any case, and it is reported that Lincoln could not strongly argue a side or cause that he thought was wrong.

God states that we are not to bear false witness. Honesty is required in all of our dealings. Our lives should be characterized by truth no matter what we do. We need to realize that we are only as good as our word. If the world sees that our word means nothing, what do you think their response to the gospel will be?

Let’s take Lincoln’s advice and apply it to our lives. First, resolve to be honest in everything. Second, if in your judgment you cannot be honest in your job, resolve to be honest apart from your job. There may be some who will oppose you, but you will be seen as someone who stands for what is right. When you are facing a tough decision, remember, honesty is the only policy God will bless.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder