Memorizing Bible Verses – Good for Your Brain?

In the South especially, Vacation Bible School is a part of almost every child’s summer, whether their parents regularly attend church or not. Children make crafts, perform skits, sing songs, and, most importantly, memorize Bible verses. VBS is part of growing up in the South.

But new research suggests that VBS-particularly those Bible verses-may be more important than you think. It turns out that the brain is just like the biceps; the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. And when children, especially, put in the effort to memorize something-like a Bible verse-their brain is strengthened and their memories improve.

Plus, it doesn’t only work for children. Adults, too, can strengthen their brains and improve their memories by putting forth ten or fifteen minutes of effort each day to memorize something; either a Bible verse or a short poem, for example bible verse about hope. Take the time to review the verse or poem as you go through your normal day; repeat it to yourself in the car, for example, or while waiting at the doctor’s office.

What about songs? Does being able to sing along with every song on the radio improve your memory? Well…not really. Music and rhythm makes it much easier for words to stay in our heads. While this can be extremely useful if you really need to memorize something and don’t have long to do it, the brain doesn’t have to work as hard, which means the benefit is minimal.

Are you interested in improving your memory with very little time investment? If so, then try this: get a pack of 50 or 100 ruled index cards. Take one and put a Bible verse on one side and the reference on the other. Or, if you prefer, put a short poem on one side and the title on the other. You can do the cards one or two at a time; no need to knock yourself out filling up all 100!

Once you have a couple of cards filled out, tuck them into your purse, or fold them and tuck them into your wallet or pocket. (The pocket is a risky place; chances are, you won’t remember to take them out before washing that garment.) Wherever you put them, you want to have them with you, in easy reach, at all times.

Next time you have time-if, for example, you’re stopped at a long red light-pull out one of the cards. If you’re just starting to memorize that card, you may want to read it through once while looking at it, turn it over, and see if you can repeat it. If it’s a card you’ve been memorizing for some time, try to repeat it without looking.

Having the cards on hand like this does two things. Number one, it helps you improve your memory without costing you any time beyond the amount required to make the cards in the first place. Number two, it takes advantage of that “throw-away time” in doctor’s offices, at stop lights, and-once you have the card memorized well enough that you don’t have to look at it-while driving. (Never, ever, ever read a card while driving. A wreck does not significantly improve your memory.) Turn wasted time into beneficial time; improve your memory while you wait!