You can memorize big chunks, even books, of the Bible. Unless you’re part of the very small percentage of us who suffer from a traumatic brain injury or stroke or disability, you really can. And you should.
But why should you?
1. Because you have a bad memory.
Don’t say you can’t memorize because you have a bad memory. That’s why you need to memorize.
I have a bad memory too. I think it’s worse than average—seriously. I forget names of people I know and see regularly! I have to force my faulty, inefficient brain to drive things that matter most into my long-term memory. This only happens by the process of repeating (memorizing) every day over a period of time.
You’d be surprised what you can commit to memory if you have a simple system and put forth some effort. I’ve memorized five New Testament books and am working on my sixth. And that’s because I have a bad memory.
2. Because you need to feed your mind.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. But how can we do this if we can’t remember such things?
General positive Bible concepts are not very helpful. We need specific “precious and very great promises” in our memory to draw on when we are alone and battling discouragement or anger or lust or fear (2 Peter 1:4).
3. Because the Bible is too accessible to you.
It’s strange how having an abundance of something can result in our neglecting it. If the Bible’s always there on our tables, tablets, phones, computers and on the web, we can dip in, read sections, search for key words when needed, but feel no urgency to really internalize it.
Memorizing is one way to fight that delusion.
4. Because you have the Internet.
Unfortunately, the Internet is teaching us how not to read. We are becoming information scanners, quickly browsing but not digesting very much. We are losing patience for deeper, more reflective reading.
Memorizing longer passages of Scripture forces us to reflect deeply on meaning and application.
5. Because you don’t know the Bible as well as you think you do.
Have you ever had a conversation with a friend you’ve known for a while that made you realize that there were dimensions to them you never knew, and suddenly you understood them better and felt closer to them?
That’s what memorizing longer passages and even books of the Bible will do for you. You will find nice Bible friends become earnest confidants and counselors.