Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Memorizing vs. Understanding

As a college student, I take tests quite often. The week before Spring Break and finals week are two of the toughest because of midterm and final exams.

Tests frustrate me. It’s not the fact that I am actually tested, but because I sometimes feel like I’m just memorizing information and not actually learning and gaining the knowledge.

Projects, although time consuming, are great because I have to apply what I know and have learned and produce an outcome.

I think that studying scriptures is the same way. I can memorize tons of Bible verses and regurgitate them, but what good does that do me if I don’t comprehend and apply what I read and say?

James 1:19-25 says, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what is says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.

It sounds so simple – apply scripture to your life – but sometimes it is harder than we think it will be.

Matthew 5:44 tells us, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. When someone makes me mad or treats me badly, loving them and praying for them isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

How amazing is that! I know sometimes I get so caught up in analyzing my situation that I don’t give it to God.

This is something I am going to work on – not just memorizing what the Bible says, but learning to apply it to my every day life. I’m going to work to love everyone, even those who frustrate me or aren’t nice. I’m going to have faith in God and his plan. I’m going to love my neighbor as I do myself.

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