1. Journaling Causes You to Slow Down and Linger

Reading your Bible is not a race. As we all agree, it’s not a checkbox item. It’s a chance with us to be still before God and consider His truth. Writing your thoughts, convictions, praises, and prayers slow you down. Before long, you begin to linger longer over the words in Scripture instead of racing past them. It’s in this process that Colossians 3:16 begins – where the Word of Christ starts to richly dwell within you.

  1. You Remember What You Write

Over the course of this company, blog, social media interactions, I will forward countless articles that talk about the importance of writing. How writing triggers the synapses in your brain. How writing takes longer than typing and how that gives time for connections to information to be made. Writing something down makes it sticky. And when it comes to God’s Word, sticky is better.

Interesting sidenote: I’ve never been great at memorizing Scripture. But as I’ve journaled and lingered deeply in God’s Word – I have clearly memorized a decent amount of Scripture without specifically setting out to memorize it. 

  1. Get the Creative Juices Flowing

God is creative in His very nature. And we are made in His image. So we too are called to be creative, each of us in our own unique way. Some of us deploy our creativity through psalms, poems, prayers and other forms of creative writing. Some through sketches and drawings. Some through writing of academic study in His Word. Etc and etc. All of these are ways to journal. 

  1. Pictures Last. Phrases Stick.

Our brains desire to attach a picture to a truth we’ve learned. It helps the truth sink deep. So next time, don’t just read Psalm 1, but envision a person with strong roots for their feet and beautiful healthy leaves for their hair. Draw it – the picture will let the truth and words of Psalm 1 linger. 

Phrases stick too. They’re word pictures. Like drawings or sketches, it takes creativity to create a short phrase that speaks of eternal truth. If you’re not a sketching artist (I’m not), learn to cultivate phrases that will help you remember God’s truth more effectively. Deep, eternal truth can often be digested in bite-size chunks. 

  1. Remember the Pain. Celebrate the Gain.

It is good to remember the pain. It’s good to journal how sin entered your life so that you might be more aware the next time sin is crouching at your doorstep. It’s good to remember the consequences. It’s also good to just remember the trials and storms of this life – and the tears that they bring. God keeps record of all of it, even our tears (Psalm 56:8). So should we.

And we should definitely celebrate what God has done in our life. We should remember and celebrate the ways God has rescued us from bondage/sinful wildernesses (see Israel) and delivered us faithfully into our own respective promised lands. We do well to go back and celebrate the past lovingkindness of the Lord (Joshua 4).

  1. Leave a Legacy.

We all want that, don’t we? We want our children to see us in God’s Word. We want them to learn to linger there too. So begin the training process (Prov 22:6) by modeling it first. And I’m also pretty convinced the thing my children (and grandchildren) just might treasure the most are my journals (and not my John Elway memorabilia).

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