Sunday, July 13, 2008

Memory Work Idea

A friend shared this idea for memory work with me: When memorizing a passage, start with the last phrase first. This actually works very well. I have not tried it when memorizing a very long passage, such as a chapter in the Bible, or an entire poem, but if you are learning two or three Bible verses at a time, it makes it easier.

For instance, look at this passage:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Start out saying, "Jeremiah twenty-nine eleven through thirteen," to yourself. When you have that, you can add, "Seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13." That is pretty easy, so add, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Keep going back, phrase by phrase, until you have the whole thing.

My friend explained a couple of reasons why this works. The first thing she told me is that you will know the end of the verse better than the first, so when you repeat the verse from the beginning, you will grow more confident as you go along. This helps with anxiety and stress. I believe this is true whether or not you are saying the passage to another person or not. The anxiety is a more internal anxiety rather than just a "performance" anxiety.

Another reason is that often the main point or the most important point is contained in the end. It helps to know the point that you are working towards. In the example I gave, you could probably argue against that, so here is a better example:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

Here, "that it may benefit those who listen" is the point of the verse, it is the logical conlusion. If you have the last phrase secure in your mind, the first part makes more sense.

Please share any ideas you know that help when memorizing short or long passages.


Post a Comment