Why Memorize all That Scripture?
The ONLY way to be a great quizzer is to memorize the material. You may think that you could never memorize an entire year’s material (500 to 1100 verses) but it’s not as hard as you think. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a lot of work and discipline, but I believe almost anyone who can get a 70% average in high school can memorize this amount of material. If you can find 30 to 45 minutes a day to spend by your self in a quiet place to learn new material and another 30 to 45 minutes where you can think to yourself to review old material you can learn a years worth of material. There are two keys, learn new material every day and review old material every day. You probably won’t really know the material well until you have quoted it to yourself every day for two weeks or so.
There are no short cuts, memorizing hundreds of verses is hard, but probably not as hard as you think. While there are no shortcuts, there are things you can do to help. One of the biggest is to review what you already know while you are doing something else. Quote while you get ready in the morning. Quote while you are running laps in gym. Quote to someone on the bus while going to an athletic event or a band competition. Quote 5 or 10 verses while you walk from the bus to class, or while you walk from one class to the next. Have a quiz study book with you and learn a verse every time you go to the bathroom. During the year keep one book in the car glove compartment, one in the bathroom at home, one in front of the computer at home. You have more time than you think if you get creative.
You may start out memorizing in order to have a high average and win quizzes, but there are a number of other reasons.
Do it for the buzz
When the year starts and you finish the first chapter, when you get to your first hundred verses, whenever you reach a milestone of some kind you feel great. You know you did something hard that not a lot of other people have done. You may even get an endorphin rush, an actual buzz just like long distance runners, when you start getting up into the hundreds of verses range.
It makes you look good – When you quote 100, 200, 500 verses to someone in one sitting it feels great. It’s a blast to see how people react when they see you do this for the first time. It’s fun to be able to quote a verse and give a reference in the middle of a conversation or a Sunday School class. People get impressed and talk about you. Being good at something does great things for your self-confidence and self-esteem .
Do it for what it does to you – Spending this much time in the word of God will change you. No matter what your motives, you can’t help but be changed. God’s word is powerful stuff. Memorizing hundreds of verses makes you intimate with God in a way that not much else can accomplish. When you are in the middle of memorizing a book, God’s word is right in the front of your mind most of the day. You are constantly thinking about it. It becomes a filter in the front of your brain through which everything you see or hear must pass. You’ll be amazed how often a joke, a song, a spoken word makes a verse pop up into your head.
Do it so you don’t do something else – If you are bored you probably tend to watch movies and TV, read popular fiction, play computer games. The more bored you get the more you do these things. The more you do these things the more likely you are to watch or read something you really have no business looking at. When you are memorizing large amounts of scripture you don’t have time to be bored, and after a while you don’t even really miss doing those other things.
Do it for your witness – You may be scared to death of talking to someone else about becoming a Christian. When you are constantly working on memorizing the bible people around you notice even if you don’t want them to. You’ll get so caught up in keeping up with learning the new material and reviewing the old that sometimes you don’t notice until afterward that you actually witnessed to someone in a conversation about quizzing and the Bible.