The Remarkable Potential of Ordinary People

God never asks you to do what you cannot do. If he calls you to it, he will empower you for it.

Agreed? Good!

With that in mind, let me remind you of an essential Christian discipline: Memorizing Scripture. God says,

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8 ES

How do we keep God's Word from departing from us? Not by carrying it as an iPhone app, but by memorizing it!

Scripture memory provides a treasure trove of benefits. Here are a few just from Psalm 119. Memorizing Scripture:

  1. Helps keep me from sinning against God (119:11)
  2. Brings me counsel in times of uncertainty (119:24)
  3. Gives me comfort in affliction (119:50)
  4. Helps reorder my priorities (119:72)
  5. Makes me wiser than my enemies (119:98)
  6. Makes me "smarter" than my teachers (119:99-100)
  7. Leaves me with a sweet taste in my mouth (119:103)
  8. Gives me direction in life (119:105)
  9. Gives me great peace (119:165)
  10. Helps me (119:175)

Even with all those promised blessings, no sooner does the word "memorize" leave my mouth than I hear a chorus of excuses:

  • "But I just can't memorize."
  • "My mind doesn't work that way."
  • "It's too hard."
  • "My kids can do it, but I'm too old!" 
  • "I'm not smart enough."


Remember where we started? If God calls you to it, he will empower you for it! And to that important truth I want to add something I am learning from the book Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separate World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin.

Colvin unpacks some fascinating research that unveils the human mind's amazing capacity to learn. After testing ordinary people with ordinary intelligence, researchers concluded: "There is apparently no limit to improvements in memory skill with practice" (Geoff Colvin, Talent Is Overrated, page 38). Case in point: one man--after training--was able to recall a list of 102 random numbers just after those numbers were given to him at the rate of one digit per second. Most people are able to remember seven.  

The secret was deliberate practice.

So here's the deal. God promises peace, a fruitful and fulfilled life, wisdom, and a whole lot more for those who hide his word in their hearts.  

You can do it! Why not start with one of these (just click on the verse):


Don't Ask The Fish? That's a funny name. Where did it come from?  Click here to find out more.