December 22 – Memorization or Internalization

356 – Memorization or Internalization

#faithbites #faithjourney internalization

One of the weekly assignments my eldest has is to memorize scripture. She studies it, recites it, and gets a sticker for it. I’ve asked her if she remembers it a week or two later and she doesn’t. She may have the concept on some but not the word. No internalization of the reason for remembering it.

In medical school, I see some of our students studying frantically to memorize facts and figures. When the test comes, they recite the information, and move to the next module. Some internalize it and then use it to build on it for deeper knowledge in the future.

I personally have a terrible memory which led me to hate both biology and organic chemistry as it was rote memorization. I did much better in the inorganic chemistry and physics as it was application.

The Bible is like that for me. I know people who can recite verse after verse. I on the other hand, am not very good at it. What I have learned, through my #faithjourney and in writing #faithbites, is the message of the scripture. I may not know the word for word or the passage, but I know enough to look it up. I have internalized the message.

  • I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16
  • This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. – Joshua 1:8

Let me preface this section by saying I am not a teacher of the word, I am not a trained pastor, nor am I synodically trained.

When I read the verses above, to me it isn’t about memorizing them word for word. It’s taking the words off the page and putting them in your heart. Internalizing what they mean and how they influence your daily life. I may not be able to recite John 3:16, but I know that God loved us so much, we gave us his only son so we would be saved.

When I write #faithbites, I have a feeling in my heart of what I want to say. They I look for scripture on those themes. Some come up over and over, while others are new to me. I can’t say I remember all the scriptures I have shared, but I can remember how they made me feel and I can find them again if I need them. We are blessed to have his word in our language and at our fingertips 24 X 7


Do you worry that you aren’t worshiping God well because you can’t memorize scripture? Perhaps, you wish you had better recall of scripture. A trick to remember them is make them apply to your life. Once you do that, you at first will remember the feeling of the scripture, then later you will remember the verse number. Don’t worry if you never get to call scripture by book and verse. If you have internalized his word, you can find it again and again.

Lord, help me internalize your word. Let it reside in my heart all the days of my life. While I may not remember every word, I do know it is from your mouth and you give me strength to carry out your plan.

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