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Don't Give Up the Ship

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 2 Timothy 3:14

The War of 1812 was a proving ground for both the British and the Americans – the British trying to prove that their navy was still the best in the world, and the Americans trying to prove them wrong. By 1813, more British warships had become available to use because they were no longer tangled up in the war with France. The British plan to blockade the entire American coast was then put into effect. Captain James Lawrence of USS Chesapeake decided he was going to make a break out of the Boston harbor by taking on the British warship, commanded by Captain Philip Broke, the HMS Shannon. As the two ships collided in battle, Captain Lawrence gave the command to board the British ship. His cries were in vain as he was hit by a musket ball fired by one of the topmen on the Shannon. Before he was carried below deck, the thirty-one-year-old captain’s last words were: “Tell the men to fire faster and not give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks.” Though the Chesapeake was sadly forced to surrender in only eleven minutes, his words were modified to become the rallying cry of the U.S. Navy – “Don’t give up the ship!” These were also the last words of the dying first lieutenant who assumed command after Lawrence was wounded, and the slogan was sealed for posterity’s use.

Though the times and the circumstances have changed, that same cry can be heard from the lips of many pastors who are speaking to a younger generation: “Don’t give up the ship.” You have been taught from the Word of God proper standards and how you should live. You have been shown the right convictions based on the Bible. You have been warned of the danger we face from our enemy, the devil. Don’t back down. Don’t give up on righteousness. If it is right today, then it will also be right ten years from now when the circumstances in your life have changed. Make no mistake, there will be plenty of things and people that will try to get you to go back on things you once believed. Don’t abandon your standards for a lie the devil tells you. Don’t change for a boy or a girl who doesn’t believe the way you do because you hope you can change that person. Follow God, and He will work things out for you.

You only get one life. If you abandon what you know to be right from the Word of God for anyone or anything, you will stand before God one day ashamed of how you have lived. Don’t stop fighting for the truth. Don’t stop standing up for what is right. Don’t lower your standards to conform to anyone. Don’t give up the ship!

Read also: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Quote of the day: "Do what is right, not what is easy.”

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