Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Putting Verse into My Heart

One of the things I have been working on lately is memorizing Bible verses. I was raised a Christian, but was never really encouraged to memorize verses. I remember going to a friend's church where we would receive little prizes or badges when we memorized verses. The church I went to put more emphasis on reading the Bible and understanding the meaning behind the verses, and never rewarded recitation and memorization.
That said, I have realized that there is a true benefit to putting God's word into my head. There are a few reasons why I decided to start memorizing verses now:
1) to use the verses to stop bad behavior before it starts.
2) to remind myself of sinful behavior after I have committed it.
3) to use God's own words to spread his message and love to others.  

The first time I decided to start memorizing verses was because I had a bad habit. I had lived overseas for a few years, and in many places overseas it is posh for young people to swear in English. I am not sure if they do this because the words seem to not have a meaning because it is not their native tongue, or if they are used to hearing English swear words on TV, or if they think they sound cool to use such words. Either way, I started to treat my language just as casually, not even thinking of the words I used to express myself. 
As I have become closer to God, I have realized this is a part of my life I need to change. If I am going to be a Christian on the inside and live a Christian life, I need to look and act the part on the outside. So I resolved to stop swearing and..... it didn't work. I tried and tried and these words kept slipping out. After so long in my vocabulary, I didn't even notice them anymore!
So after trying and failing to stop myself, I realized my error. I prayed about it and asked God to help make me conscious of my words. Then, I decided to look in my Bible to see what it says about swearing. I found Psalms 19:14:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer

I felt an urge to memorize this verse, but I kept forgetting it! I tried and tried but I kept forgetting it! How was I to bring this verse to mind to help me if I struggled to remember it? 
Then I remembered that when I went to church with my friend as a child, they would teach us hand motions to remember the verses. So there I was, fully grown, sitting on my bed trying to make hand motions to this verse. I finally came up with motions I could remember and that could help me remember the words, and I said the verse over and over a few times. 
I have this verse in my head to stay. Not only that, every time I said something I shouldn't have, God brought this verse to my mind and made me conscious of my mistakes. Now, I have finally kicked the nasty habit and am so happy God was able to use this verse to teach me. 
My husband and I together memorized and made hand motions for Proverbs 15:1:
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
God has been using this verse to help us remember to speak kindly to each other, no matter how angry we are. This has been very good for us, as we are striving to never become a couple who speaks disrespectfully to each other. 
Now that I have a formula for putting more of God's word into my head, I am constantly finding verses I want to memorize. I have a list I keep, and I am slowly working through it, committing verses to memory by hand motions. 
So go ahead, make some motions of your own and memorize God's word. When you feel corny, just picture me as I "stir up anger" (commence vigorous cauldron stirring motion) while reciting Proverbs 15:1!


  1. Joy,

    That is a great post! Proverbs 15:1 is one of my favorite verse and one I am often reminded of. I can't wait to read up comming post. Also Congratulations on being a newlywed:)

    In Christ,

  2. Hello! I hopped over to your blog from True Femininity. I love this post! It is a good reminder! I have just started scripture memorisation with my 3 year old and it's amazing how much of a sponge she is.
    You've reminded me I need to be diligent to further my own scripture knowledge too!


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!