If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I’m not good at Bible memory” or even something as simple as “I don’t have a good memory”, you’re not alone! But the good news is that the brain God has given you is more powerful than you realize.
As with anything we do in life, what’s possible is only limited by the amount of effort we’re willing to give. You CAN memorize the Bible and there are some proven techniques that make it faster and easier.
Over the past couple years, through interviews with Bible memory practitioners, we’ve had the opportunity to learn from several amazing people who are also memorizing Scripture. Here are some of the most useful Bible memory tips that you can learn from these interviews.
Tip #1: Consistency Trumps Natural Skill (Scott Stonehouse)
If your reason for not memorizing Scripture is because you’re just not “good” at it, then you’re really looking at it the wrong way.
As Scott Stonehouse says, it’s not about whether you’re good or bad at memorizing Scripture, it’s about consistency and making it a priority.
“Some people have unique abilities and skills, [which is] wonderful. Other people are doing it even if it’s difficult because they’re being faithful. It’s that kind of attitude that I want to have and want to encourage other people to have when it comes to memorizing the Scriptures.“
In fact, as I’ve talked to a lot of people who also do Bible memory, I realized that all of us have some level of impostor syndrome. In other words, we all seem to think that we’re not that good at memorizing. But to someone who doesn’t memorize at all, whatever we do looks amazing!
In the end, it’s really just about having the right attitude, being consistent, and making Bible memory a priority.
Tip #2: “Use Your First Free Five” (Katherine Pittman)
This one’s directed to busy parents who want to memorize the Bible, or basically anyone who thinks that they just don’t have enough time throughout their day.
How are we supposed to allocate time for Bible memory when we’re just so busy?
“When my kids were little, I used to get questions from Moms about how I am able to find time to get in the Word, and I just encourage them to use the first free 5 minutes that you have.”
Let’s learn from Katherine Pittman and use the “first free 5 minutes”.
After all, there’s no where in the Bible that says we have to spend 30 minutes with our devotions. There is no set time. If we could just give God our first free 5 minutes, he will honor that.
Tip #3: Start with Active Memorization (Aaron House)
When you sit down with your Bible, what is the first thing you do? Do you review what you’ve previously been memorizing or start on those new verses? Here’s what Aaron House, the executive director of Piercing Word has to say:
“When I memorize, I don’t want to spend my best efforts on review. I start with active memorization on new material, and then move to review. This makes it sure that your best efforts go towards the hardest task.”
This is so true!
Because in truth, I could spend hours just reviewing previous verses that I have memorized. So if I start off by reviewing, chances are I’m never going to get to the actual memorization.
This Bible memory tip will also be very useful to those who are only able to allocate a small amount of time for Bible memory. For instance, if I only have 15 minutes to spend time for memorizing Scripture, I should spend 5-10 minutes on new memory work, and then another 5-10 minutes on review work.
Tip #4: Keep Verses in Context (Susan Heck)
For those of us who memorize individual verses of the Bible (as opposed to extended chapters or books), Bible teacher Susan Heck gives us this simple reminder:
“Cults and heresies are formed due to verses taken out of context. So if you’re not gonna [memorize] [entire] chapters or books, make sure you keep it in the context.”
This is an important lesson to those who only memorize individual verses.
While there is nothing wrong with that, just make sure that you understand the context of the verse you’re memorizing within its chapter and within that book of the Bible.
Tip #5: Be Willing to Kiss it Goodbye (Dr. Andy Davis)
We are merely human. Remember that. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the desire to memorize and retain as much as we can that we lose sight of the big picture. Here’s what pastor Andy Davis has to say about that:
“I just think it’s important to kiss the book goodbye. It’s like you get to a certain point, you’ve saturated your mind in it, you know it, you’ve recited it for almost a third of a year, and so it’s time to begin with another book, go on to the next book.”
This is an important idea to understand because if you’re like me, one of the things that’s important to me is keeping what I’ve memorized by reviewing it over and over again. Because why did I memorize it in the first place if I’m just going to forget it?
But I do think that there’s something to be said about removing that burden from yourself, that burden of a mentality that says, “I have to remember this. I have to hold on to it.“
Instead, be willing to just “kiss it goodbye”.
Tip #6: Join an Accountability Group! (Janet Pope)
Bible memory seems like such an individual activity, something you do by yourself in the quiet of your living room. But what if that doesn’t have to be the case? Here’s author and speaker Janet Pope:
“So I have a Scripture memory group. We meet once a month and we’ve been meeting on Zoom for a year. And all we do during that one hour is recite Scripture. There’s something about sharing Scripture. So I would say, get a partner or get a group.”
When I first started Bible Memory Goal, creating an online Bible memory community was probably one of the furthest things from my mind. And yet now, as I look back, it just seems like an obvious thing to be done.
Why wouldn’t we have a community of people who are memorizing Scripture together?
Tip #7: Remember WHY You Memorize (David Newquist)
We don’t memorize to gain any kind of favor from God. So what is the purpose?
“For me, it’s not about memorization per se. It’s about memorizing, so we can meditate, so we can obey.”
Memorize…so we can meditate…so we can obey.
I feel like the sequence of that is really important. Like pastor John Piper has said, having God’s Word in our heart allows us to have that two way conversation with him, anywhere at any place, so that we can meditate. But of course, all of that is pointless if we don’t apply that and obey what God says.
So don’t be discouraged! You DO have the ability to memorize Scripture and hopefully these tips gave you the inspiration and motivation you need to keep at it.
Follow along with all the Bible Memory Goal YouTube videos!