No Time To Memorize

The thought of adding one more thing to my schedule sends me over the edge. I hear you … and I feel the same way. But don’t dismiss memorizing Scripture as incompatible with a busy life.

Because of the value of God’s Word, we don’t want to eliminate spending time in it, but a goal of studying the Bible every single day doesn’t work realistically for everyone. However, when busy people neglect time in the Word, it leaves them unprepared for the battles of the day. A jam-packed schedule, with activities from dawn to dusk, often results in a parched and guilt-ridden soul. For this reason, busy people need Scripture memory more than people who have time to read their Bible every day.

Memorizing passages serves busy people well, because contrary to what most people assume, it takes very little time to memorize and review, because you can do it while you do other things.

So where can Scripture fit in? Let’s take your morning routine. Even overachievers take a shower, dry hair, shave or do make-up, brush teeth, make coffee and/or breakfast, and then drive somewhere to work. That’s probably at least one hour.

Those repetitive tasks, that don’t require concentration, fit perfectly with memorizing Scripture. Keep your verses on the counter in your bathroom, kitchen and car. Saying a Bible verse out loud, phrase by phrase, breathes life into drab mornings, and invites God into our day. Adding new verses each day enriches the experience and broadens the understanding. Meanwhile you’ve showered, coiffed and dressed—no extra time required.

When you’ve already got passages memorized, what can you review in that one hour?

• Psalm 1 takes one minute to review.
• Psalm 139 takes 2 minutes.
• Most chapters take 2 – 3 minutes.
• A five chapter book, like James or 1 Peter, takes 15 minutes.

I can hear the pushback now. “But I listen to the news when I’m getting ready in the morning.” Without apology I say, “Make the great exchange. Trade the bad news for the good, trade man’s words for God’s.”

As the day flies by, capture dead time to fill your heart and mind afresh with thoughts of God. Redeem wasted moments on your daily commute, waiting at the red light, the printer, the drive-thru, the carpool line, the dentist office. Exercising and dog-walking are two activities that work well with Scripture memory. A few minutes of Scripture here and there throughout your day turns idle time into a conversation with God. No one should be too busy for that.

I’d love to hear from you. When do you find time in your busy day to memorize and review Scripture?

8 comments to No Time To Memorize

  • Janet, this is a wonderful article with great takeaways! I already enjoy memorizing Scripture. However, God used this article to show me how much more I could easily infuse my day with Scripture memorization, reflection, and review, which in turn, will infuse my day with more wisdom, guidance, encouragement, hope, joy, peace, etc. I always could use more of these things in my life!

    • Hi Brooke,
      Your words speak to all of us. Who doesn’t need more wisdom, guidance, encouragement, hope, joy, peace? The world seems to be assaulting us daily with its version of truth. We can’t be effective in the battle without God’s Word, which he appropriately calls the “sword of the Spirit”. The more I grow in the Lord, the more I realize how helpless I am without his Word. And the older I get, the more determined I am not to waste any more time.

  • I totally agree, Janet. Memorizing Scripture is something we can do regardless of how full our schedules are. And once we have a verse in our hearts, we can pull it up anywhere, anytime.

    • Hi Lisa, One thing that helps me is to pair scripture memory with tasks I do every day. Then even when I’m swamped with the holidays or another busy season, I’m still going to take a shower, I still make coffee, I still do dishes and laundry, I still drive around in my car. So until I totally give up on those basic things, I will always have slots in my day to memorize. Reciting a verse only takes 10 seconds, not 10 minutes. Glad to see you on the blog.

  • Susan Turner

    Thank you for the encouragement, Janet. Your reminders help keep me on track and to keep my mind filled with God’s Word instead of whatever else the world wants to fill me with. I appreciate you!

    • Hi Susan, I think that is one of the biggest benefits of memorizing God’s Word. The world has an agenda and pushes that agenda ALL DAY LONG everywhere we go. It is only God’s Word that keeps us on his agenda. We need it constantly because our default is to pursue what the world is telling us.

  • Chérie

    The great exchange works in a full circle. You exchange the bad news for Gods Word and then His words will come back to you at just the right time.
    While chaperoning a field trip to a well known computer technology company, the kids were introduced to the use of gold being used for a major part of the technology this company produces. One of the kids asked why it needed to be gold, and the engineer answered, “because gold doesn’t corrode like other metals, so it is worth the extra cost.”
    Immediately, and without any trying on my part— 1 Peter 1 swooped into my brain. I sat there missing everything else that was said in that moment because I was reminded that my faith is of GREATER WORTH than gold. I don’t know why but the whole rest of that day, I was mesmerized by that.
    My faith. MORE expensive than gold.
    I had memorized 1 Peter in 2011.
    7 years prior.
    As my 6 year old niece says, “so cool, yeah, so cool..”

    • Cherie, It is “so cool” when God’s Word intersects our lives and reminds us truth in the every day stuff. The time we spend memorizing Scripture is never wasted. Thanks for sharing