Recovering an Ineffective Scripture Memory Program.

Think about your previous attempts

  1. Describe your previous attempts at memorizing scripture. This question may take some time, but it is important to recall what you have done before we go on.

    I first became interested in memorizing scripture shortly after I became a Christian in 1982. I was involved with the Navigators campus ministry and had a few friends which were memorizing scripture. One friend in particular, Ben seemed to take a special interest in the task. During my University days, I was a very disorganized and undisciplined sort. I saw no reason to memorize topics or scripture references, because it was uninteresting. However the verses themselves meant a great deal to me. Since I was an undiciplined sort, I was not good at review and worked at it inconsistently. I started out memorizing portions of 1 John and Ephesians. Since I was not consistent at it, I stopped and re started memorizing verses a few times before leaving school. Each time I started memorizing scripture again, I had to re-learn the verses I had already learned and then forgotten. It was somewhat depressing because I was not making any progress. It seems that I wanted to memorize a lot of scripture but could not actually get myself to do the work. So I spent a lot of time wishing I was memorizing scripture and feeling bad that I had accomplished so little. After university, I went to London Baptist Seminary for a year and a half. Here I learned to love and respect the word of God. But during this time for some reason memorizing it was not a priority. After leaving school, I moved to Toronto, got a Job at a computer company and later got married. During these years I again attempted to memorize scripture, but as before, each attempt started with a flurry of activity and soon was forgotten. A couple of years ago a friend of mine (Michael) told me to get my act together, so I started to memorize again. This time however I was able to stick to it longer. I wrote a computer program to assist me in scripture review. After writing it, I used it each night for an average of 20 minutes per day for about a year. But then my attention wandered again. Soon after my second son was born and my evenings were used up taking care of him. The problem was that I had confined my scripture memorization efforts to one activity and when I got busy with something else, it was all gone. I still had no discipline in learning topics or verse references. Most of all I had a strong urge to press on and memorize more and more without making sure that I had learned the first material well enough. Even though I spent a year learning a couple hundred verses I was doing something wrong. First, I quit working on it as soon as my schedule changed. Secondly, soon after I quit, I forgot what I learned. This proves that I did not know them well in the first place. After about one year of not memorizing, I decided that I would start again. But this time I decided to make sure that I would never fail again. This is the reason for this web site. I spent more than 150 hours studying the issue and writing up my thoughts and hope that I have come up with a system so good that it will even work for an undisciplined sot like me. Time will tell.

  2. Why were you not satisfied with the results? What were the results?

    During the last 15 years I started and stopped memorizing scripture several times. What were the results? I memorized a lot of scripture and then forgot it. It was not a complete loss, because any exposure to the scripture is a good thing. I always respected it and did my best to obey it. I have learned to love the word of God and my love for God grew also. But I did forget what I learned. This is not satisfactory to me. If I had learned only one verse per week for 15 years and made it a point to learn it well, I would now know 780 verses! But right now, I don't. I am not satisfied beause my goal is to learn a lot of the NT well, but at this time, I have not even come close.


  1. Determination and desire.

    You should be convinced that the Bible is the inspired word of God and is the primary tool God has provided for our spiritual growth. You should therefore have a constant hunger for more of the word of God. It is truth and can set us free from what binds us if we obey it.

    I have always been convinced that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I have never doubted this. But knowing this alone did not keep me focused on the task. It did, however keep compelling me to try again and again until I did succeed

    I have now. Before I did not. Rules and discipline and routines bothered me and I rejected them as foolishness. This though has been one of the reasons I have been so inconsistent in my devotions, prayers and memorization routines.

  2. Discipline and the usage of your time.

    Determination is a good starting point, but if need to have a clear idea as to how to memorize scripture. You need a workable scheme, the discipline and will to stick to it each day and a plan to make sure that you do not stray from it in the long run

    I have found that many scripture memory routines do not really work. I have looked for things which are easy and quick and do not require a lot of time committment. (I am lasy you see). There is no such thing. Determination to accomplish something with no plan or discipline will only end up in failure and feeling bad about yourself. But determination with a plan and system of self discipline can lead to success.

  3. Memorization/review techniques.

  4. Living up to what you have already attained

Your conclusions

  1. Write out a brief paragraph or two describing the specific reasons why your previous attempts at memorizing scripture were not as effective as you would have liked them to be.

  2. Given your new insight, what do you need to do to make your attempts to memorize scripture work better the next time?