How Memorizing Scripture Helped Me to Not Write a Scathing Letter
Halfway through the year I turned 50, I committed to memorizing scripture.
I started with Ephesians 6:13,
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then,
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Then I memorized Philippians 4:6–7,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The third scripture verse I memorized was Philippians 4:8. I purposely chose this last verse to help me combat my negativity.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable —
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —
think about such things.
Sometimes we don’t know the exact influence the Bible has on us until we encounter a situation which shines a light and brings to life the true meaning.
For me, I recognized that the Word was actually penetrating into my sinew the day I decided not to write a scathing letter to Canada Post.
I seldom mail letters anymore
I communicate mainly through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and texting. I’ve never been one to like talking on the phone, but I’ll “chat” online for hours.
However, I recently lost a 33-year-old niece to cancer. Actually, she’s my ex-husband’s niece and so still part of my children’s life as a first cousin. Although I no longer communicate with my ex since my children became adults, I thought it important to send him a card of condolence.
I found an appropriate card, signed it, stuffed it in an envelope, addressed the envelope, added a stamp, and mailed it that same day. I was happy to find a stamp because, as I said above, I seldom mail letters anymore.
You can imagine my disappointment when the letter returned to me with a big black stamp across the front “insufficient postage”. I had to actually Google it to see how much I was short — 3 cents.
For a measly 3 cents, the postal service returned my card.
Now before I go any further with my story I need to stop here in the telling of how offended and upset I was.
I stop because this story is actually about how memorizing scripture has helped me to not rant.
I really wanted to write a scathing reply and post it on Medium, share it on Facebook, and tweet it on Twitter.
But then the Holy Spirit brought to mind Phil 4:8. If I spent time writing a retort I would be thinking negative thoughts — thoughts opposite of true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
So instead, I found a new envelope, stuffed the card in, addressed it and affixed the proper postage.
Then I decided to write this story sharing my experience about how I believe in the importance of Bible study and memorizing scripture.
(First featured on Medium platform June 24, 2019)
Thanks for the post! I wanted to let you know about a web site I created (https://www.linebyline.app) specifically for memorizing longer texts (such as passages of Scripture that are anywhere from three or four verses to entire chapters). It uses spaced repetition to make sure your time spent memorizing is spent in the most effective way and that you don’t forget material you’ve previously studied. I’d love for you to try it out and send me any comments or feedback you might have.