I am encouraged as I sit here watching Inauguration Day coverage on TV. The Obamas and Bidens are attending worship services before they begin their day's activities. I pray that they will be aware of God's leading in their lives and are willing to follow it.
I am reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin right now. This is a biography of Abraham Lincoln's political life. I am so impressed by how Lincoln treated others especially those who treated him badly. Lincoln's antislavery beliefs were strong but he still treated those against him with respect.
"Rather than upbraid slaveowners, Lincoln sought to comprehend their position through empathy. More than a decade earlier, he had employed a similar approach when he advised temperance advocats to refrain from denouncing drinkers in thundering tones of anathema and denunciation, for denunciation would inevitably be met with denunciation, crimination with crimination and anathema with anathema. In a passage directed at abolitionists as well as temperance reformers, he had observed that it was the nature of man, when told that he should be 'shunned and despised,' and condemned as the author 'of all the vice and misery and crime in the land,' to 'retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart."
Lincoln appealed to the highest common demoninater in those he sought to lead and change.
"As he wound to a close, Lincoln implored his audience to re-adopt the Declaration of Independence and return (slavery) to the position our fathers gave it; and there let it rest in peace." The accomplishment, he pledged, would save the Union, and 'succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations."
Please let me know your reactions to today's events.