Today I attended a workshop for math teachers where I heard many teachers bemoaning the fact that they have so many students who seem to retain so little math that they presumably learned in previous grades. It is an almost universal teacher complaint. And it got me thinking.
Perhaps you have been to a Bill Gothard Institute in Basic Life Principles (formerly the “Institute for Basic Youth Conflicts”). You may, or may not, have agreed with all his points. But you probably remember his personal testimony regarding his high school grades.
His sister was two or three years older than he was, and was an excellent student. When he got to high school, he remembered her groaning, “Oh, no! Bill’s in high school now and he is such a bad student that he will ruin our family’s reputation!”
Sure enough, his grades were horrible.
At that point a teacher took him under his wing and encouraged him to start memorizing Scripture. At first the process was very slow and difficult. But as time went on, and Bill stuck to it, he began to find it easier to memorize. Interestingly (and probably not surprisingly), the more he memorized, the more his grades improved. Soon he was a straight “A” student.
If you have ever made a commitment to memorize Scripture, you can probably identity with Bill Gothard. At first, it is VERY difficult and VERY slow. You have to review, review, review, and review some more. You have to memorize one little phrase at a time. And little-by-little, phrase-by-phrase, sentence-by-sentence, verse-by-verse you begin to absorb it. You have to cross a certain threshold of persistence, or the “commitment” will quickly fall by the wayside. It is VERY tough.
BUT– if you persevere, you begin to notice that you can absorb the verses a little more quickly as time goes on. It’s like your “memory muscle” starts to shape up!
Today, many students have been allowed to go through years of schooling without much memorization. Their “memory muscles” are weak. So, when they are presented with new material, it may “stick” long enough to make it through the next test, but then, like smoke, it vanishes away.
If you are a student–or the parent of a student–why not give Scripture memory a try? You may just be very pleasantly surprised at how, over a period of time, grades start climbing!
Meanwhile, filling your mind and heart with truths, promises and commands from Scripture–the very Word of God–sounds pretty wholesome too, doesn’t it? Want to know more? Read some of these previous posts:
Why So Few become Strong in Christ
Memorizing Scripture–Which Verses?