Since we are looking to memorize a passage of Scripture together, I wanted to put some thoughts down on why we are doing this and how best to go about memorizing. I hope that the some of this extra time many of us have will be put to good use as we seek to continue growing in grace.
I cannot say this loudly enough – memorization is not the end goal! Memorization is not a magic rabbit’s foot that will instantly keep you from sinning. Memorization is a means to an end, and that end is meditation. You should memorize God’s Word so that wherever you go, God’s Word goes with you.
As you think about God’s Word, repeating it over and over to yourself, it will begin to change your outlook on life. As you think deeply, and repeat often, the principles, promises, and picture of God that thinking will reshape you. What is constantly running through your mind is continually reprogramming you. Start thinking on Scripture all day, every day, and I guarantee it will change.
There is only one effective way to memorize – spaced repetition. That means you repeat over and over to yourself what you are trying to memorize. And you spread those repetitions out over time. In other words, saying a verse 100 times in a row is less effective than saying it 20 times in a row over 5 days, which is less effective than saying it 10 times in the morning and evening for 5 days. Cramming might help you say the passage in time to get the piece of candy in children’s church or to get credit on the quiz, but it doesn’t set you up for true memorization.