Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been talking a lot about becoming a thinking Christian lately and I’d like to touch on the aspect of memorization tonight. If you’re going to be equipped to deal with what you see out in the world, you will need to know what to say and when.

When you read a book, you want to take in as much information as you can. When you meet the skeptic on the street, you can’t say “Let me look this up” or “Let me get out my notes.” You need to know what to say then and there. How can you get your memory in that kind of shape?

To begin with, rely less on technology. Make sure you have some phone numbers in your memory. Most numbers put out that are meant to be memorized follow the seven plus or minus two rule. In other words, the number will consist of five to nine digits. Your phone number minus area code has seven. Your zip code has five. Your zip code more precise has nine. Your social security number has nine.

It is easy to use the contacts list on your cell phone, but make sure you’re not totally dependent on that for every number. If you always let technology remember everything for you, then your own memory will suffer for it. The memory is like any other muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it will become. The less you use it, the more it will waste away.

Start off small if you’re working on this as well. Don’t be trying to memorize a highly extensive list. I recommend starting with a list of three items and then moving up from there. There are several games you can get such as games on a phone that can help you with this. Think of the old Simon games with four colors and having to push the colors in order.

Music can also be an excellent aid to memorization. If you listen to a song, you can usually remember it easily because there’s a tune that sticks in your head. Most of us know the words to song easily, which really shows we can memorize things. When I meet someone who says they can’t remember something, I often like to see how many songs they know, what they can tell me about their favorite sports team, favorite jokes they have, or lines they love from a favorite movie or TV show.

The reason that works that way is that you can remember it if you connect it with something important. Try to establish connections in your mind with what you’re wanting to remember and see if it helps. Repetition will also be helpful. When you hear something you want to remember, repeat it.

Memorization is important to a Christian and was to the Jews as well. In fact, the ancient rabbis said that someone could not comment on a verse of Scripture unless it was memorized. It was not uncommon to meet a Jew who had the entire Old Testament memorized in biblical times, hence Jesus probably made more allusions to it than we recognize because we don’t remember it like they did. We can even place great stock in oral tradition in the ancient Middle East due to their great memories. This still goes on in the Middle East in fact. Muslims memorize the Qur’an.

Knowing the facts entails remembering them. Work on memorization today and remember to work on it tomorrow.

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