The first day of the 12 days of a Scout Christmas reminds us that a Scout is trustworthy. To be trustworthy means that others can depend on you, that you are an honest person; or someone that chooses to do the right thing and does it consistently.

Abraham Lincoln is consistently rated as the greatest American president of all time, and it’s not hard to see why. While we often look at history with rose-colored glasses, all accounts record Lincoln as being a strong, intelligent, thoughtful, humble, honorable and trustworthy person.

He was given the name “Honest Abe” early in life when working as a store clerk. One story tells of him realizing he had short-changed someone by a few pennies and instead of dismissing it, he closed the shop and walked as far as necessary to correct the mistake.

Even as a lawyer, a seemingly strange profession for an unapologetically honest man, Lincoln was sought out to act as judge or mediator in various contests, fights, and arguments in court, or in his personal relationships. Even his political opponents admitted that Lincoln’s character and actions made him a trustworthy person.

Lincoln was then trusted to assume the role of the 16th president of the United States during a time of civil war. Despite the devastating conflict between the North and the South, Lincoln maintained his trustworthy nature by his willingness to do what was right and to do it consistently.

And since this is a Christmas message, here are a few stories of Lincoln during the holiday season:

santa-visits-union-soilders
Lincoln commissioned artist Thomas Nast to draw a picture of Santa Claus visiting Union Troops in the January 3, 1863 edition of the widely read Harper’s Weekly.

On Christmas day in 1862, Lincoln spent the day visiting Union soldiers in hospitals bearing Christmas gifts of books and clothing.

Then, on Christmas day in 1864, a decisive victory was made for the Union. On the same day, the newspaper printed the “The Union Christmas”(as seen above as the featured image) by Thomas Nast, a famous print artist. This print depicts President Lincoln standing at a door, offering the cold and frostbitten Southern soldiers an invitation to join him at the Christmas dinner table. This art was probably not commissioned by Lincoln, but is an artist’s imagining of what Lincoln would do if cold and hungry Confederate soldiers showed up on his doorstep on Christmas day.

Lincoln exemplified trustworthiness in every aspect of his life. Because others could rely on him to do the right thing, to be fair and dependable, Lincoln was able to help get the U.S. through a most difficult time in our history. May we be inspired to be a little more honest, a little more reliable, a lit­tle more trustworthy.

For the next twelve days, visit the Voice of Scouting to find inspiring Christmas messages based on the twelve points of the Scout Law: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

This year, the Christmas messages will focus on the lives of historical figures and times when they exemplified a point of the Scout Law.

6 comments

  1. Michelle Carpenter
    Michelle Carpenter ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    It’s hard to believe that there really isn’t a lot of argument over Lincoln’s goodness. With every other popular and loved president, people question the reality of their integrity. But, it’s true. If you pull up a Google search, you find page after page talking about what a great guy he was. It’s cool to realize that Lincoln was such a trustworthy man that it is very difficult to argue otherwise.

  2. Melany Gardner
    Melany Gardner ( User Karma: 3 ) says:

    If you’re into history the link I mentioned in the article about Lincoln and Christmas is an interesting read as well: http://mymerrychristmas.com/the-christmas-legend-of-abraham-lincoln/

    Lincoln was one of the only presidents that didn’t send our Christmas cards because he thought it was too frivolous during war time. He also didn’t have a Christmas tree although having a Christmas tree in your home at the time was very much in vogue.

    I already loved Lincoln, but the more I research about him, the more he is my favorite U.S. president.

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