Can I let you in on a secret? I love my morning quiet time with God. I start most days on a hopeful note, but I often need a mental makeover by 5:00 pm. Between morning and evening, home school, housework, email, errands, and phone calls wear me out. I need an attitude overhaul by late afternoon.
Discouragement and Complaining knock at my door:
- What am I going cook for dinner?
- I didn’t finish everything on my list.
- What’s going to happen in Syria?
- Who left these dirty dishes on the floor?
- Why can’t they make their own dinner around here?
When we need a more positive outlook, God’s Word offers the following wisdom about transforming our attitudes:
The patterns of this world press in on us through television, social media, and even people around us, but God calls us to live a transformed life.
A transformed life flows from transformed thoughts.
I know of no better way to change the way I think than to meditate on God’s Word. I need something better to do with my mind than replay my to-do list, the latest bad news story, or the suspense thriller that maybe I shouldn’t have watched last night.
That’s why I’m recommitting to a life-changing habit: Scripture Memory.
God’s words written on our minds counteract the voices of the world and our own sinful natures. Two weeks ago, I wrote about memorizing single verses. Memorizing whole passages adds variety and richness to our meditation of God’s Word. It’s a good way to park our minds on a passage of scripture.
How to Memorize a Passage of Scripture:
Start by choosing a passage that encourages or challenges you, and read the whole thing. A small Moleskine (3.5 x 5.5 in.) makes a good scripture memory book. Write one or two verses on each page as you work through the passage verse by verse. Follow these steps:
- Read the first verse aloud 5 times.
- Write down the reference number and copy the verse under it.
- Repeat the verse 5 times aloud. Say the number preceding the verse each time. (For example if you’re memorizing Psalm 23:1, say “One. The Lord is my shepherd…)
- The next day, read your verse 5 times and say it 5 times from memory.
- When you’ve memorized the first verse, go on to the next.
- Each day, review the verse you previously memorized; then work on the one you’re currently learning.
- Say the number each time with the verse. This helps you keep verses in order as you work your way through a long passage. If you have trouble remembering which verse comes next, try to memorize the number and the first three words of each verse.
- Every few days, review the entire passage. For variety, listen to your passage on Biblegateway’s Audio bible.
- Do this together with your husband or kids for accountability and encouragement.
When we memorize passages of scripture, we’re equipping ourselves to make a powerful choice. The next time negative thoughts come knocking at our door, we can choose to change our thought patterns by running scripture through our minds instead. This afternoon, rather than griping about making dinner, I might get out my scripture memory book.
Now it’s your turn: Can you think of low moments in your day when reviewing a scripture verse or passage might help you flip your thoughts?