This fall we’re challenging our growth groups to memorize 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 as a part of our series on spiritual gifts. Thirteen verses?  Yes, thirteen verses.   A whole chapter?  Yes, a whole chapter.  

I can read your mind as the excuses begin to form.  “I’m too old… not enough time… that’s not my strength… let’s not get all legalistic now…”

I hate to break it to you, but you’re not too old, the fact that you’re reading this blog proves that you have enough time, and memorizing Scripture is not legalistic.

Memory is a muscle.  It can be exercised.  It can atrophy.  Some are genetically “blessed” with good memories.  Some have to try harder to bulk up.  

But anyone can develop memory muscles. So, if you haven’t worked out for a while, what do you do?  You start small.  

Honestly, with where most of us are in life, small is okay.  Our goal is simply to keep our cholesterol down so our insurance premiums don’t go up.  

What does that look like for Scripture memory?

Three minutes a day.  

Here’s a Scripture memory workout plan to start exercising those muscles.

Day one: 

    •    Read 1 Corinthians 13:1 ten times out loud.  For five of those times read it actually looking at the words.  Then try to repeat it five times without looking.

    •    Read the rest of 1 Corinthians 13 out loud once.

Day two:     

    •    Review 1 Corinthians 13:1 ten times out loud.  Always review!

    •    Read 1 Corinthians 13:2 ten times out loud. Remember to actually look at the words.

    •    Read the rest of 1 Corinthians 13 out loud once

Day three:

    •    Review 13:2 ten times.

    •    Read 13:3 ten times.

    •    Read 1 Corinthians 13.

Day four:  You get the picture now.  

If you followed the plan above, it would take you three minutes! I timed myself reading 1 Corinthians 13:1 ten times.  It took me less than a minute! Then I read the rest of the verses in around a minute. I bet that’s less time than you’ve already spent on Facebook today! 

If you kept up the workout regimen, you could memorize a chapter three weeks. However, we’re going to try to get it done in ten.

Will everyone who adopts this workout plan have the verses all memorized?  Maybe. But even if you don’t, you will have read the Word and strengthened your mental muscles.

So think of me as your Jillian Michaels Six-week Six Pack coach, prodding you along, telling how great you’ll feel when it’s over! Actually, don’t think of me like that.  It’d be weird.  

Anyway, by my calculations you could have memorized a verse in the time it took to read this blog, so have at it!

The approach to memory above is adapted from An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis.  It’s a dollar and forty-five minutes well-spent!