A Kick in the “You Know What”

Last Sunday, our campus pastor told us about Billy Graham’s greatest regret. Billy Graham, a modern day hero of the faith has one main regret in life. Do you know what it is? He wishes he would have studied and memorized more scripture. You know, it must be important if the guy who is arguably the most famous Christian next to, well Jesus, says so. As my pastor said, “Billy freaking GRAHAM!”

Is someone trying to tell me something?

So the Bible memorizing has been going a little slowly. That’s an understatement. In fact, I’ve probably learned a grand total of 5 verses since my surgery, and even then, I don’t think I have them down very well.
I’m still in James, chapter 1, and today, I’m memorizing verse 20 because I’ve been dragging my feet far too long on this.

With all evidence to the contrary, I’d convinced myself that it wasn’t worth so much effort. Here’s my pathetic ist of excuses, each of which I’ve alternated using for the past several weeks:

  1. It’s hard
  2. It takes time
  3. I’m horrible at memorizing things
  4. It’s boring
  5. I’ve got better things to do

As if the Billy Graham comment wasn’t enough. My pastor went on to knock down all of my excuses with one recommendation. He told us, and I’ll paraphrase this a bit, “If you don’t want to read the Bible (or in my case memorize it), pray for the desire to do it.”

So, basically, if we don’t want to study the Bible, if the desire isn’t there, it’s not because the Bible isn’t worth
it. It’s because we’ve got priority and taste issues we’ve got to let God fix for us.

Now I have a new way to pray for my Bible study and memorization. In addition to my regular, “God, please help this stick,” I’m adding, “Please help me want to do this and enjoy it too.”

I usually ask God to help me out with the nuts and bolts of the process, but now, I need to have him work on my attitude and my desires. Hmm, that might just apply to every other struggle I have in life.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Because of your example and others (and some exhortation at the New Attitude Conference), I’ll be starting Ephesians tomorrow.

    I’m really just aiming for chapter 1.
    But, we shall see…..

    AL: That’s AWESOME ~M! I can’t wait to hear what you learn through the process and pick up any tips you have to pass along. I had no idea that I’d be learning so much about myself through doing this. I mean, I figured I’d learn a lot about God, but I didn’t think I’d get such an attitude overhaul. Blessings in your memorization!

  2. OK…I’m prodded to join in. I want to memorize:

    “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

    Mostly because usually my mind tends to think about all the opposite stuff…and I get down when I think about falseness, dishonable behavior, injustice, displeasing…wait, I think I’m describing the Houston Chronicle!

    I really want to have my mental radar up and searching for the things scripture manadates. I believe whatever you look for and contemplate you will find…whether it is a particular color and model of car, or snack or what have you. I personally and everyone I know sure could use a blast of all that Philippians 4:8 is suggesting.

    AL: Great choice! I think it’s handy to have verses like this on the ready for when you need them. I should track down some of my favorites to memorize too. Maybe I should just stick to James for now. But I like the idea of having verses on hand that can help with one’s thought life!

  3. Hi, I just stumbled across this doing a google search for a paper I’m writing. I have the same struggle. I want to memorize scripture, but I don’t find time to do it. One thing that has helped me though, is the bible quiz competitions once a year at a youth rally we go to. Last year it was I John, and this year it is Ruth. It is really easy to memorize something when you have that kind of motivation. Just a thought, make it recreational. I’m still reaping the benefits of memorizing first John, although I can’t quote it anymore…

    AL: Thanks for taking the time to comment, Andrew. I was always in awe of the kids I knew who did those bible memory contests. I don’t know what’s available in the adult areas, but I do like the competitive element that keeps people motivated.


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