Too Busy 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. Jam-packed lives with activities from dawn to dusk often result 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 also walking the dog, are two other 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 the community? When do you find time in your busy day to memorize and review Scripture?

4 comments to Too Busy To Memorize

  • Barb

    I spend a lot of time working with my dog. I find the long down stays which are pretty boring for me (her too) a perfect time to review or practice my new verses.

    Thanks for more hints and experiences of other times to redeem.


  • Linda

    October 7, 2014
    Hullo Friends,
    I have Spastic Cerebral Palsy and I can only stand in one place for a short time. When I brush my teeth, I brush some of my teeth, and then, I rest my legs for a few minutes sitting on the ledge of my bathtub. I review my Revelation verses and I add a verse. It is a joyful motivation to brush my teeth and it strengthens my legs too.
    Blessings My Friends,

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Thank you Janet for this wonderful encouragment. I too often waste those busy mindless times fretting about the activity I am engaged in or the activity to come. To capture those moments by practicng my verses is a precious time with God’s word and a calming influence in my day. Win, win — or maybe better to say, blessing, blessing!!

  • Chérie

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how a newbie might feel in this memorization community.
    If I were a person considering memorizing a chapter or book of the Bible, and I was reading about how people had memorized boatloads already, would that make me feel the task is just too daunting? 
    The thought that someone might feel that way makes me want to say something. 
    If you are a beginner—never memorized any scripture in your life, but you’d like to, …do this: today or tomorrow while you are driving, turn on the radio to your favorite station. . Notice all the lyrics you know to so many songs. You will be surprised. 
    This is because you learned the words to the song by hearing it time and time again while you were DOING SOMETHING ELSE. And the song is sung with the same words and the same tune every single time. Even songs with no background music have a cadence that never changes. It’s recorded! (Such as ‘The Box’ by John Denver, or Elton John’s Indian Sunset) 
    Once you realize you have so much memory capacity , then you can be confident that making the ‘great exchange’ is the ultimate trade off. Then you can dive into memorization knowing it is completely possible— and highly likely that you will succeed.