Nine days into the new year, the reality of challenges that come with new goals or resolutions begins to become obvious. Goals can sound incredibly glamorous on the planning side, but the execution requires hard work and dedication. (You Biggest Loser fans no doubt caught my reference to Dolvett’s mantra.)
I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage those of you who are memorizing scripture along with me. I know it’s not easy, but thankfully, we don’t have to do it on our own. One of the freeing promises God gives us in the Bible is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will do it.” He’ll do the work. The pressure’s off us. We must simply submit ourselves to Him, and He will consume our lives, thus empowering us to get His job done.
Each Monday on this blog, I choose a focus verse for the week. I love that God really does have an answer for everything in His Word, and I would never have started the work of this online ministry without Him, so I find it only fitting to consciously keep things around here centered and focused on the wisdom and promises He lays out for us in the Bible.
Having said all of that, I would also like to share some tips that I’ve learned in the last year as I started consistently memorizing scripture as an adult. It’s a much different experience for me than it was as a child. I don’t know about you, but that sponge that soaked up everything as a kid is pretty saturated after a few decade’s worth of information.
- Write your verse out. Hand writing the verse at least once does something for me. I always write it on an index card and put it somewhere I’ll see it frequently throughout the day.
- Choose your verses wisely. There are times when God clearly says, “Memorize this verse next!” Obviously, don’t mess with that prodding. However, there have been times when I chose a passage because I believed it would be good for me. I mean, when is the Word of God not going to be good for me? I began to realize that I kept trying to memorize verses that contained lots of lists. While doing this once or twice not back-to-back is fine for me, I’ve found that these verses don’t stay in my memory long-term.
- One great resource that I’ve not really tried before but plan to begin implementing is scripturetyper.com. This website allows you to set up a free account where you can type out your verses. It’s a great way to use multiple modes of learning to help it stay in your mind for a long time. When you start to get the hang of your verse, it removes some of the words from the verse to see if you can type part of it from memory. When you think you’ve mastered it, you can move on to typing it all out without any word prompts. It seems like a really effective way to memorize the Word, and if you choose to set up an account, you’ll have a personal record of all the verses you’ve memorized.
- Remember quality is more important than quantity. I realize that some people memorize easily and can remember it forever. I’ve also learned some stats about the human brain and memory through my time in education, and the vast majority of us will memorize for the long-term if we don’t cram a ton of information in our heads all of the time. You aren’t going to receive a gold star for memorizing an entire chapter in a month. You also aren’t going to remember the entire chapter for the rest of your life, more than likely. Let this girl who’s learned things the hard way tell you something very important. Slow down! Enjoy God’s Word. Learn to meditate on the Words you’re committing to memory and live them out. It’s not about the length of the verses or the number of verses you’ve memorized by December 31st. I’m still being challenged and encouraged by other verses besides my monthly memory verse, but I’ve learned from several wise believers that it’s important to be purposeful about this scripture memory thing.
- If you choose a verse that turns out to be simple to memorize in a couple of weeks, go ahead and pick another one! You do want to challenge your brain, and if you find that you’re ready to move on, do it!
I’m so excited for those of you who have already joined in this scripture memory journey with me! If you’re interested in joining, it’s not too late! I set up a Facebook group for all of us to post our verses in so that we can stay accountable and encouraged. If you’re not already a member of the group, please click on the link and request to join. If that doesn’t work for some reason, please let me know so I can add you.
Most importantly, remember, He who has called you will be faithful to do the work through you!