Abraham Lincoln was not always the wise, calm, and long-suffering man we know him to have been as President.In 1842 (18 years before becoming President) he decided to criticise James Shields for his part in the bankrupting of an Illinois bank. Many depositors were disadvantaged.Not only did Lincoln publicly chastise Shields in an open debate, he also wrote a letter to the Editor of a newspaper, under the pen name, ‘Rebecca’, mocking him. Shields found out it was Lincoln and challenged him to a duel. Lincoln, having the privilege of choosing the weapons, chose cavalry broadswords. He felt pistols would mean certain death for him, but being six foot four and nine inches taller than Shields, he would have the reach advantage.It was over before it begun. Lincoln’s first swing, deliberately high above Shield’s head, cut clean through a nearby tree branch. Everybody present, seeing that Shields was at a fatal disadvantage, encouraged the two men to call a truce. They did.Years later, Lincoln was asked about the duel. He replied, “If you count me a friend, you will never speak of it.”That may have been the day that Lincoln saw that stoking a man’s anger can have deadly consequences. Many men would do all they could to provoke Lincoln to anger during the US Civil War. His reputation assures us that he lived out the wisdom to this Proverb: “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,And it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11).John StaigerIf you have been blessed by this message, please feel free to: Like, Comment or Share it with your friends.