So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
— 2 Thessalonians 2:15
In the fateful winter morning of January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger stood poised for launch. Overnight, the temperature had plummeted into the 20s. At liftoff, it was a crisp 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Huge icicles clung ominously to the launch tower.
Allan McDonald, an engineer employed by the manufacturer of the solid rocket boosters that straddled the shuttle, shuddered, but not because of the cold. Research had shown that the O-rings sealing the sections of each booster might be more likely to leak as the temperature dropped. In fact, the rings had never been tested during an actual launch below 51 degrees.
McDonald stood virtually alone as he steadfastly opposed the launch that icy morning, but he was overruled. The launch went ahead as scheduled, and 73 seconds later, six brave astronauts and one enthusiastic school teacher lost their lives when the O-rings failed.
Was Allan McDonald arrogant when he challenged the decision to launch? Was he intolerant? Any thinking person would say no. He just was unwilling to see innocent people die because others had ignored or distorted the facts. Allan McDonald knew the truth, and he stood up for it.
Far too often, Christians know what the truth is, yet they neglect to stand up for it. But just as those seven people on the Challenger were headed toward tragedy, so are those who enter an eternity apart from Jesus Christ. So stand up for truth, whatever it takes.
Ask God to give you the strength to stand firm for the truth even when it costs you.
Questions for Thought
Who are some people who are famous for standing firm for what’s right even in face of persecution?
How can you, like them, be more intent on staying true to what you believe and standing firm in your faith?