The Word of God has the power to change lives. Susan Heck helps us lay hold of that power to change by discussing the importance of Scripture memorization in counseling.
I must say as a certified biblical counselor, I am pretty excited about this year’s conference, maybe more than any of the others in the past. Why? Because it seems to be the going trend for men and women to blame their sin on some type of disorder they have been diagnosed with.
I am also looking forward to presenting the workshop on The Importance of Scripture Memorization in Counseling. There are many reasons but three stand out as especially important with the theme this year.
1. The Word of God has power to change lives.
Man’s words and thoughts are foolishness, but God’s words have power and are life transforming. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful and shaper than any two edged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Memorizing Scripture will transform one’s mind. This is very important for those we counsel. Memorizing the Word of God will transform the way they think to the way God thinks, and that should be one of our ultimate goal in counseling. Paul wrote to the Romans, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:2). He addresses this in Ephesians 4:23 …“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” When one begins to memorize Scripture, he begins to look at life differently, he handles situations differently, he thinks differently about God and about others.
2. Memorizing Scripture convicts of sin, which leads to sinning less.
This is huge because if some of the “mental illness” we are seeing today is due to guilt of ongoing, unconfessed, unrepentant sin, than as a counselee memorizes God’s word, they will have to come face to face with their sin. The Psalmists says in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Also Psalm 37:31 says hiding God’s word will keep your steps from sliding. “The law of God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” As one commits to memory the Word of God, they become more aware of what God says regarding how they are to live and with the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit there is hope for change!
3. Last, but certainly not least, memorizing Scripture will help your mind and your brain!
Isaac Watts, that great hymn writer, once stated that as we get older the brain shrinks and hardens from lack of use, and that the best therapy for the brain is memorizing, and of course the best thing to memorize is Scripture. It is rather ironic that we can get online and play “brain games” which are supposed to keep us from getting Alzheimer’s and dementia but we won’t spend that same hour memorizing God’s Word which will also help in those same areas according to medical studies. Not getting Alzheimer’s or dementia of course is not the main goal for memorizing but being conformed to the image of God through His Word is! This is a wonderful goal for each of us, counselor and counselee included! I trust to see many of you next week.
Susan Heck is a breakout session speaker for our Annual Conference next week. She is also a certified biblical counselor through our association. To learn more about how to become certified and how to apply Scripture to the lives of hurting people, look into our training opportunities.