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Memorizing What Matters Most

Jun 10, 2024

This post is by Sabeth Kapahu.


There are times that the things we choose to memorize are based on immediate priority versus long-term gain. As adolescents we remember the lyrics to songs to impress a crush or the cool kids. As college students we cram facts into our short-term memory to pass exams. As business owners we memorize our mission for recall no-matter-what.

As Christ followers we consider scripture a high priority in our lives but the reality is rarely do we take time to memorize it. For a myriad of excuses we leave it to the scholars and those who preach from its pages. 

In my own journey scripture memory has been in direct proportion to the prize it will help to attain. Yes I realize how that sounds, but living in reality is necessary. In Sunday school if we showed up with the weekly verse memorized we got a bouquet of lollipops; the good kind with tootsie roll chocolate in the center. A few times a year we had the chance to win a Bible with our name engraved on it if we memorized the books of the Bible in order along with a few larger sections of scriptures. My Bible was pink with gold lettering. 

In high school I would memorize scriptures that motivated me while competing. A particular favorite was Isaiah 40:31. I could apply it year-round depending on the sport I was playing. If I waited on the Lord I could run and not grow weary on the soccer field, around the bases, and across the finish line of the 100 meter sprint.

My husband and I started dating a year into Bible college together. I can’t remember exactly who proposed the idea but we decided to memorize the book of Philippians together. This was especially exciting to our Greek professor who was teaching us through the book of Philippians and also just so happened to memorize it with his wife when they were newlyweds.

My daughter memorized Psalm 23 at the age of three. We would memorize it together as we went on walks and she eventually realized that it would earn her great praise from those she recited it too. I mean, who can’t get excited about being led to calm waters through the mouth of a babe?

I share these stories to remind us that we are human and in our nature is an innate desire to achieve, gain, and succeed. What if these desires were used to strive towards scripture memorization that set foundations for long-term habits that sustain? The fruits of these habits have immediate impact for us, and long term implications for the generations to come.

We get the chance to fill our lives with the words and stories that can transform our situations and hearts. Building the habit of scripture memorization doesn’t have to be any different than memorizing the other things that matter most, but the impact can far outweigh anything else we will ever take time to prioritize. Yes, our social security number is necessary, but we could also choose to memorize the numbers and correlate the truth about our futures into eternity.  John 14:6 tells us that Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Automatic reactions come after much intentional repetitive actions. This is where we write one verse down daily until we don’t need to read it to know it. We post chapters on our mirrors, and office walls. We ask for accountability and pray for help. We can incorporate scripture memorization into our daily lives as we walk and talk to each other. We can open our eyes each morning and automatically ask the Lord to, “let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for you I entrust my life.”  Psalm 143:8 

Soon as smoothly as our triggered responses flow from our mouths, scripture will be seeping from our hearts into our everyday interactions. May we memorize with intentionality one small step at a time.


Sabeth Kapahu is an entrepreneur with a passion for encouraging people. She is a versatile coach, fluid social media strategist, and community initiative developer. She is a wife, mom of four, and friend to many. 

She’s the owner of Invited Back LLC designed to empower and inspire leaders to achieve their goals as they reimagine, reinvent, and re invite others into their passionate purpose.


Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

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