Monday, June 18, 2012

5 Surprising reasons why you cannot memorize that verse

You just cannot memorize that Bible verse! You’ve tried everything from pasting a print of it on your bathroom wall to writing it multiple times. But no, each time you need to quote it out of your memory you fail. Just how do those preachers and teachers commit so many verses to their memory? And why can’t I? Sounds like a familiar situation? Read the following and you will know why can’t you memorize bible verses (or for that matter any other text that you are trying to learn by heart.).


can't remember a word!


You cannot memorize it because:

  1. You are trying to memorize it: Since you are trying to memorize a particular verse all you are trying to do is pressurize your brain somehow add this particular verse permanently in your memory. The problem is, you just cannot inject things like that into your memory. Try to learn from the verse, try and know what it speaks to you. Simply trying to mug it up will never help.
  2. You are committing it to short term memory: You take a verse, read it 5 times, close your eyes and repeat it exactly without seeing it! And you are happy you memorized it, and never ever go through that verse/text again. A few weeks later, when you need to reproduce that verse out of your memory, you are lost. So what just happened? Hadn’t you successfully memorized it? Well actually, yes you had memorized it, but only for a short term. When we see a something and remember it to be recalled only a few minutes/hours later, it goes into a short term memory. So the verse that you did memorize went to that short term memory, and then you never even refreshed it by reading it more often.
  3. It has no personal relation with you: The things that we remember till our death are the ones that are very personal and close to us. The same is for Bible verses, if its just a piece of text you want to memorize so that you can impress your friends then you better not expect to remember it for a lifetime. On the other hand, if this verse touched you in a personal way, helped you out of a tragedy, strengthened you in the times of trouble, you are more likely to remember it without any efforts.
  4. You do not use it frequently: Even if you do manage to get it into your head, the Bible verse may not be used by you frequently enough and slowly it slips out of your memory, sometimes without leaving a trace behind. Once you have memorized a verse try and use it as frequently as possible, in your prayers, in your conversations, etc.
  5. You are not reflecting on it: How do you expect you learn something by heart, that you don’t know the meaning of? It is difficult to memorize a bible verse, if you haven’t got a clue of what it means and what is it trying to say. So sit and reflect before trying to cram it!

Now you know the big why! So stop memorizing and start personalizing the biblical verses that you want to learn by heart.


  1. Very valid pointers and the same can be used by kids too for learning their lessons!

    1. Yes Shilpa... Once we know how memory works, there won't be a problem with learning and memorizing

  2. Amen! Especially that last part! Better to be able to draw out the gist of it and go look it up online to get the chapter and verse. :)

    1. Thanks Kathleen for commenting... It is indeed better to understand and grasp the Word than to cram it.