My Love/Hate Relationship with Scripture Memorization

I enjoy memorizing scripture.  There is something special about hiding God’s word in my heart that I might not sin against him (Psalm 119:11).  What I don’t enjoy, however, is being awakened in the middle of the night by the Holy Spirit and having him use the very scripture I have memorized against me.

That happened to me this week.  I went to bed at peace with the world.  Then about 2:00 a.m. I found myself wide awake, thinking about how I had misled someone and that I needed to confess it and make amends.  I started to rationalize that it wasn’t any big deal: no one was hurt and besides know one would ever find out.  That is when it happened – there it was: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).  Why did I have to memorize that verse?  I laid there trying to argue with God, but all I heard was, “Do you want me to prosper you?” and “Do you want mercy?”  How am I supposed to answer those? “No, Lord, I would prefer that you remove your blessing and grace from me.”

The thing about memorizing God’s word is that it is still there when you wake up in the morning.  I might have been able to pass off the middle of the night encounter with God as just an over-active brain on a sleepless night, but there it was again in the morning: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

I want to live in the center of God’s will.  I want him to prosper me and I certainly want all of his mercy.  So I am in the process of going to those I deceived and confessing and renouncing my lie to them.  It is embarrassing; it is hard.  However, I keep reminding myself that God’s mercy is so much more wonderful.  Pain and embarrassment is a small price to pay for God’s mercy.

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