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The Wrong Reasons for Memorizing Scripture:

 

1)  Because the group does it and demands it.  One man I know confessed to is

businessmen’s group, “I was memorizing new verses because I knew I’d

have to recite one each Friday.  I finally just stopped.  I felt that was

legalism.”  He was right.  If his only reason was to impress a group of

men in his Friday Bible study, he was memorizing for the wrong reason.

 

2)  Because I’ll get an award.  Awards for children in Pioneer Clubs and Awana

groups are strong motivators.  But sooner or later you have to move

beyond “lollipop motivation.”  Whether the lollipop is a little patch to

sew on your sleeve or a trip to Paris really doesn’t matter.  It’s not the

kind of motivation God desires.

 

3)  Because someone I respect does it.  Maybe you want to be like someone who

has memorized a vast amount of Scripture.  Fine, but you’d better find

stronger reasons or you’ll give up when that person ceases to be an

important example for your life.

 

4)  Because my pastor said to do it.  The pastor may have said such a thing, but

why did he say it?  You have to get beyond the pastor and back to God’s

truth, or it won’t last.

 

5)  It’s sort of a family thing.  Traditions, family or otherwise, are great.  But

again, you have to get past them to the foundational reasons for the

behavior.

 

6)  Because I think it will make me more spiritual.  Indeed it will help you grow

spiritually.  But, simply memorizing Scripture isn’t what makes a person

spiritual or mature.  It’s the application of Scripture to life that matters.

 

7)  Because I want to win arguments.  Strangely enough, some people

memorize Scripture so that they can whip others in theological or

evangelistic debates.  It’s certainly wise to know what you believe and

why, but becoming a “walking Bible concordance” is not the purpose of

Scripture memorization.

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