Success never happens by accident. Whether you're developing a career, studying for a test, or simply accomplishing chores around the house, positive results depend entirely on hard work and diligent planning. As Jesus described in Matthew 7:14, "narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Those who hope to avoid failure must be intentional about pursuing success, and this applies just as much to Scripture memorization as any other aspect of our lives. Even in my own life, I have to admit that I often face the temptation to approach memorization casually. Although I'm absolutely convinced that hiding God's Word in one's heart is a necessary part of the Christian life, I sometimes catch myself mindlessly reciting a passage during my daily review session rather than truly “applying my heart to understanding.” (Prov. 2:2)
My greatest weakness is a tendency to put off learning new verses, especially when reviewing something I’ve already learned seems easier or more convenient. The problem with this is that, because the mental exercise of learning new materials actually trains our minds to remember, neglecting this practice eventually makes it more difficult to retain what we’ve already memorized.* If it’s been a while since you’ve memorized a new passage of Scripture, decide on the next 10 verses you’d like to learn and then mark a personal deadline on your calendar. There’s nothing inherently wrong with simply setting your own pace, but my experience has been that procrastination tends to creep in if I’m not purposeful about setting very specific goals for myself. With that in mind, choose a date that is doable yet also somewhat challenging. New memorizers may find a pace of 3-5 verses per week to be ideal, while those who have been memorizing for a while can sometimes manage several verses each day. Just keep in mind that you’ll never know your limits until they are stretched! What about you? Is there a certain routine you follow when deciding what to memorize, or do you generally choose new verses as you go? Once you’ve decided on a passage, is there a specific system or method of memorization that is especially effective for you personally? Please comment below with any questions or suggestions you may have!
*Irish researchers have found that through extended exercises in rote learning, learners can actually recall more information overall. Source: http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2012/07/23/in-praise-of-memorization-10-proven-brain-benefits/
- Keith, Thanks for taking the time to share your testimony with us. It's always exciting to hear stories of God's grace, and we're encouraged to know that Scripture memorization has had such a significant impact on your life. Please check back often and keep in touch!
- While digging through a box of photos and memorabilia that was left when my mother died I came across a church bulletin that my Grandmother Stanberry had preserved. It was from Cumberland Presbyetrian Church in Shreveport, LA. and dated October 9, 1949. Apparently my grandparents knew the pastor, Dr. N. A. Woychuk, and were visiting there. Among the announcements was a report of the collection for the Bible Memory Association. My sister and I were living with our grandparents for several years near the end of World War II. They had enrolled us in the Bible Memory Association program and we completed the course by memorizing all the verses. Our reward was a Scofield Reference Bible. But the real reward for me was that, at the age of 10, the verses I had memorized began to speak to my heart to help me realize that I needed to trust Jesus with my life and I did so in the summer of 1946. Those verses and others that I have memorized through these years have been source of comfort and joy. I had searched for information about BMA several times and came up blank until I came across this bulletin. So glad to see that the work continues. May God richly bless you and those who take advantage of the help you give. God is so, so good!