Those of you who are regular readers may remember my post about my goals for the year. In addition to yearly goals, I also made smaller, monthly goals for myself. I started the year strong, making my bed every day in January and continuing the habit so far. February was a bust; my goal to solve a Rubik’s cube never got started. I still do not even own a Rubik’s cube. March was a mix. My goal was to memorize 3 sequential chapters of Scripture. I memorized 2, the first two chapters of the book of James.
Around the same time my church was starting a series on James and I’ve always loved the simplicity of James’ writing, even if the living it out part is a good bit more difficult, so memorizing the book seemed like an interesting way to engage with the sermon in a new way.
Memorizing the first chapter proved pretty easy, my brain was not yet stretched to capacity, but each set of new verses proved a little more difficult. I got a little discouraged when I realized my memorization wasn’t coming as easily, but then I was reminded why I’m doing this in the first place.
My motivation for memorizing Scripture is not to be merely a smarter sinner, but a more repentant believer. In challenging myself to memorizing Scripture I am giving myself set time each day to spend with God – a value infinitely more valuable than any rote memorization. Gaining this clarity made me OK with not memorizing all 3 chapters, even if the achiever side of me hates not finishing a task.
As a list maker, even my time with God can become part of my routine; merely a discipline instead of a relationship. I’m easily tempted to become a hearer and not a doer, just like James says. I can learn Scripture, quote it to help others, and never let it transform me. I need grace every day, even (especially) for my good deeds.
Don’t just be hearers of the word and so deceive yourselves, but be doers of the word also. James 1:22