“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
We don’t place much emphasis on memorizing the Bible these days – at least as adults. There may be Bible memorization in children’s Sunday School, and teens sometimes have quiz teams where they work at packing in the Scripture, and even in college I remember a Swordbearer’s group. But as an adult?
We claim our brains aren’t as limber as they used to be. We point to our schedules and say we don’t have time. We shrug our shoulders and admit we just don’t consider it to be that important.
But consider the two verses above – in order to avoid sin and accomplish good, we have to know the Bible well. Memorization is an important part of knowing God’s Word and hiding it in our heart.
Can everyone memorize to the same degree, and with the same degree of ease? Of course not. But I would challenge you that most of us do not work up to our potential – not even close!
So I challenge you: push yourself! See how far you truly can go! Take pride in every verse or passage you commit to memory!
Here are a few tips that will help you learn the Scriptures to your highest capacity:
Pick a translation you understand. NIV, RSV, NAS ... whatever works for you.
Select a passage you can handle. Single verses, short groups of verses, long sections: whatever you are able to readily memorize.
Find your real capacity by pushing yourself occasionally to see if you can memorize longer passages. If you find yourself getting frustrated or disappointed, you are probably pushing yourself beyond your limits – let it go, and don’t worry about it.
Find a way to keep the verse or verses constantly in front of you. Use your smartphone, keep index cards on your desk at work, put Post-It notes on your mirror – all be helpful aids.
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Don’t worry about memorizing things in a day or in a week. The longer you keep at it, the longer you will keep it in your memory. Some passages may take months to memorize – but they will be with you for life!