6 Reasons Why You Should Be Memorizing Scripture

A Powerful Spiritual Exercise for Busy People

Life is full of busyness. You have a job that you’d like to keep, a spouse you’d like to keep happy, a home that needs kept up, and kids you can’t keep up with. With so little time to spare, how do you pursue your spiritual growth, too?

What can you do spiritually to get the most out of the time you have available? If you’ve ever asked yourself that question, maybe you should try memorizing scripture.

C’mon. Just hear me out.

I realize that might sound like a stretch. You’re looking for some spiritual encouragement that takes less time, not more. How is memorizing scripture going to save you time?

And on top of that—if you’re anything like me—memorizing stuff doesn’t come very easy. Heck, I’m lucky if I can remember where I parked my car half the time.

And names? Wow, I’m terrible. After more than a few embarrassing moments, my wife has even told me to quit calling people by name. Not good.

Look, I know how valuable your time is—and how little of it you have. And memorizing scripture may sound worse than being flogged by an abbey of Franciscan monks.

But I’d like to suggest that the practice of memorization may be exactly what you need.

In fact, I would suggest that memorizing whole paragraphs or even an entire chapter at a time is preferrable. Not just a verse from here, there, and everywhere.

6 Reasons You Should Be Memorizing Scripture

There’s a huge number of spiritual exercises to choose from that will help you grow spiritually. But let me give you 6 reasons why memorizing larger sections of scripture should be near the top of your list.

  1. It’s good medicine for your brain. As you get older, maintaining your mental health is just as important as staying physically healthy. Memorization is a proven method for keeping your brain in tip top shape and has a long list of benefits.
  2. It embeds God’s words in your heart. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, the transforming power of God’s wisdom can go with you. For the busy person, this is a huge upside to memorization! Even when your hands are occupied cooking dinner or driving to the office, you can be encouraged and shaped by scripture.
  3. It forces you to go deeper. Reading the Bible is important to your spiritual growth. But unlike consuming more and more Bible, focused memorization helps root those words deeper into your life. And that will benefit you way more than simply following a reading plan!
  4. It emphasizes context over proof texts. This is one of the big advantages of memorizing larger passages instead of single verses. You get the context of the passage, which means you get a fuller understanding of its true meaning. Memorizing single verses can be good, too, but they can easily be misunderstood on their own.
  5. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. Spiritual growth is a slow process and it can be difficult to see progress in the short term. As a result, people often get discouraged and give up. With memorization, you experience short-term wins that can keep you motivated when you might otherwise throw in the towel.
  6. It forces you to slow down. With a reading plan, you can be tempted to speed read. With prayer, you might hurry through your list of requests. But memorization requires your full attention. To be successful, you have to take your time and focus your attention. That doesn’t mean it takes more time—just focused time. And if you’re going feed your soul, you really need to slow down anyway.

Memorizing scripture—larger passages of scripture—is one of the most powerful spiritual growth exercises you can practice. And in our go, go, go world, it’s a great way to keep God on your mind even when you’re going 90 miles an hour.

Passages like Colossians 3:1–17, Galatians 5:13–26, and Romans 8 would be a great place to start. By memorizing a small sentence or phrase each day—and then adding another the next day and so on—you can commit some of the greatest passages in the Bible to memory.

And 15 minutes a day is all that’s really required.

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God is with you everywhere you go. Having scripture committed to memory will help remind you of that fact.

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