5 Tips for Memorizing Scripture
As you start to pick a few verses or passages to memorize, here are five things to keep in mind:
1. Memorize accurately
These words are important, so put in the effort to get the verse memorized correctly. It’s ok to mix up words as you are starting out, but don’t settle for good enough. Take the time to get it right, so you have the meaning straight in your head.
2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Especially if you are starting off, stick with some shorter verses. There are some incredible longer passages in the Bible, but if you start out with such a big goal, you can easily feel overwhelmed. If you do decide to memorize a whole passage, break it down into shorter chunks, that way you can build on it. If the passage is 15 verses long, then perhaps memorize 2 or 3 verses at a time.
3. Try hand motions
I know it seems silly, but in my personal experience, hand motions are something that help preschoolers and college students alike. The motions can help jog your memory of certain words or phrases, and acting the verse out in some way will solidify it in your mind. You don’t have to perform these hand motions in front of anyone, but give them a try and see if it helps you remember.
4. Put the verse where you will see it all the time
I have two verses on a piece of paper taped to my bathroom mirror. Put yours on the fridge, on the front door, on your desk next to your laptop, on the front page of your journal or a book you’re reading – wherever you will see it regularly, add Scripture. The more the words are in front of your eyes, the more likely they will stick there.
5. Memorize the verse reference, but focus more on the words themselves
This may be controversial, but I think it’s far less important to memorize the verse reference than the words themselves. It’s important to know where a verse is located in the Bible so we can understand the context and who is speaking. But if, in a moment of need, you can recite John 3:16 to yourself, that’s more important than knowing that it can be found in the third chapter of John. If the verse reference keeps eluding you, but you’ve got the words of Scripture memorized, I think that is enough.
So where to get started? I’ve sneakily added several verses to this article, and any one of them would be great verses to memorize. This list is directed at children, but includes several short verses that are easy to remember, and are as beneficial for adult hearts as they are for kids. You can also take a look at some lists of Bible verses for specific needs or life seasons. If you are struggling with fear or anxiety, these lists can help. Perhaps you want to embrace joy more in your life, or want to learn more about something like sanctification.
Truly, it doesn’t matter much where you start or which verse you memorize first. All of Scripture is valuable, and any verses you study and memorize will help guide you. Good luck!
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