In 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of National Humiliation with these words: “We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand that preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming grace, too proud to pray to God that made us.” Abraham Lincoln reminded Americans — both corporations and individuals — that we should be grateful for the blessings God has bestowed upon us; that we should not make the mistake other powerful nations have made in history, that “might makes right.” Lincoln reminded us of the danger of pride, the same danger Proverbs 16:18 warns us of: “Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.” Lincoln would agree with Proverbs 16: 3, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” That is good counsel for a business, a nation, and individuals.
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