A few weeks ago in my Foundations of Youth Ministry class, we talked about H.A.B.I.T.S. an anagram presented in Doug Fields’ A Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, meaning Hang time with God, Accountability partner, Bible memorization, Involvement with the Chuch body, Tithing commitment, and Study scripture; respectively. My teacher asked the class what we thought about the anagram and whether or not we would add/subtract from any of the six items.
I raise my hand and said that I did not agree that it should be a requirement to have Bible memorization (to be honest I disagree with more than that, but I do not want the class to stone me – yet). Anyways, I said that the Bible does not require us to memorize it and that adding requirements to Christianity is wrong.
NOTE: I was not saying that scripture memorization was wrong, just not required.
Well, there were a lot of students who disagreed with me. In fact, right after I made my comment someone pointed to me and said, “Do you mean to tell me that scripture does not teach that we should memorize it?” To which I responde, “Absolutely, unless you can provide me with scripture that does…” He and another student responded with these scriptures:
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” – Psalm 119:11 KJV
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart” – Deut. 6:6 KJV
I cannot remember any other verses they may have said, but these are the two I remember more clearly (and I think the only two they gave me).
I responded, “You will have to do a lot of work to convince me that these verses are telling us to memorize scripture.”
I emphasized over and over again in the class that I had no problem with Bible memorization – in fact I think it is beneficial for some people. At the same time, I do not think it is required and I do not think these verses teach us to memorize scripture but instead to give reverence to God’s word, loving Him with everything and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
With that said, I find it much more beneficial for me to study and know scripture than to memorize a few catch verses. Through studying I find myself knowing, learning, and remember scripture and what it teaches.
Question: Does the Bible tell use to memorize it?