Why Memorize Proverbs?

For years now, I have been memorizing Bible verses. It only requires a little time and yields great rewards. Don Whitney says, “Memorizing Scripture strengthens your faith because it repeatedly reinforces the truth, often just when you need to hear it again.”  

More recently, however, I have begun memorizing verses from Proverbs. I have found it a helpful practice and would like to offer five reasons you may also consider it. 

1. So you can become wiser: James 1:5 promises that God will give wisdom to those who ask. Wisdom could be defined as the right use of knowledge or making the best daily life decisions from God’s perspective. Proverbs is a book of wisdom. It describes situations and shows the wise—and, in some cases, the unwise—choice in those real-life scenarios. Every Christian leader needs to be a wise leader, and reading and meditating daily on the Proverbs will help us become wiser.  

2. So you can know Jesus better: Jesus told the Jews in John 5:39 that the Scriptures testify about Him. We can know Jesus from any place in the Bible. Proverbs speaks to us about the right use of the tongue, the fear of the Lord, avoiding temptation and much more. Jesus lived out these wise practices perfectly. We can know Jesus better by studying, memorizing and meditating on the Proverbs.  

3. So the Holy Spirit can correct you: Proverbs chapter six, verses six through eleven, instruct the lazy person to look to the ant for inspiration and motivation toward diligent labor. There have been numerous early mornings (when I wanted to sleep just a little longer) that the Holy Spirit made these verses top of mind for me. I hear them in my head saying, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” When we hide God’s Word in our heart, including the Proverbs, we can hear more clearly God’s gentle correction in our lives.  

4. So the Holy Spirit can direct you: How many times have you been directed to go this way or that by God speaking to you through His Word? There have been plenty of meetings where the phrase from Proverbs 10:19, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin,” was incredibly helpful to me. There have been other conversations when Proverbs 11:13, “A talebearer reveals secrets; but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth a matter,” has helped me keep someone’s confidence.  

5. So you can renew your mind away from simplicity, scoffing and foolishness: Given humanity’s fallen human condition, our natural bent—apart from our new nature in Christ —is away from God and toward rebellion and self-sufficiency. Proverbs categorizes us as simple, scorners or fools, along with other terms. Memorizing Proverbs is one way we can renew our mind so that we will not conform to the values of our culture, but instead be shaped toward greater Christlikeness. 

If you are considering memorizing Proverbs, think about starting with those verses you are already familiar with and then add others that would help you grow in Christlikeness. You will be amazed at how helpful they are in your desire to know Jesus and serve people well.  

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