Three Steps to Retaining Knowledge
by Alex D. Ogden

One of the most important things in the life of the Christian is the study of God's word. One need only look at the Bereans in Acts 17:11 to see an example of early Christians who spent time in study daily. Other passages teach us to study as well. For example, 1 Tim.4:13. Paul told the young preacher Timothy to "give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching." He was to study, then use what he had learned to exhort and teach others. 2 Tim.2:15 also comes to mind. Paul said, "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth." In our diligence to present ourselves approved unto God and in our handling aright the word of truth we must study the Bible. Peter's words in 2 Pet.3:18 also encourages study. He said, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." How can one grow in knowledge of Jesus without studying the Bible? You can't.

Paul told Timothy, "the things which thou hast heart from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." What we have learned we are to teach to others so they can teach yet other people. Since we are clearly to be involved in teaching others (Heb.5:12; Mk.1:17) we must also study to have the knowledge necessary to teach others.

But often times when I study a passage or a subject I find I soon lose or forget part of what I have learned. Since this is a problem many may experience, let's examine three steps to retaining the things we have learned when we study the Bible.

The first thing we need to learn about being able to retain the things we learn from a Bible study is Repetition. In other words, we need to study it over and over again. In just about anything in this life we can see the importance of repetition. On the job we may have to operate a piece of complicated machinery. For the first little while it will be difficult to remember everything you have learned about its operation. But the more you operate the machine the easier it gets. You retain what you have learned because of repetition. The same is true with the word of God. The more we study a subject or passage or the more we make use of the things we have learned the easier it will be to retain it. Several passages teach this principle of repetition in the process of learning (Josh.1:8; Psa.49:3; 119:11-148; 1 Tim.4:15). By meditation, or repetition in the mind, of things learned, we come to know and understand fully the will of God. So the first step to retaining what we have learned is repetition.

The second step to retaining what we have learned is Repetition. In other words, we need to study it over and over again. In just about anything in this life we can see the importance of repetition. On the job we may have to operate a piece of complicated machinery. For the first little while it will be difficult to remember everything you have learned about its operation. But the more you operate the machine the easier it gets. You retain what you have learned because of repetition. The same is true with the word of God. The more we study a subject or passage or the more we make use of the things we have learned the easier it will be to retain it. Several passages teach this principle of repetition in the process of learning (Josh.1:8; Psa.49:3; 119:11-148; 1 Tim.4:15). By meditation, or repetition in the mind, of things learned, we come to know and understand fully the will of God. So the second step to retaining what we have learned is repetition.

The third step to retaining what we have learned would naturally be Repetition. In other words, we need to study it over and over again. In just about anything in this life we can see the importance of repetition. On the job we may have to operate a piece of complicated machinery. For the first little while it will be difficult to remember everything you have learned about its operation. But the more you operate the machine the easier it gets. You retain what you have learned because of repetition. The same is true with the word of God. The more we study a subject or passage or the more we make use of the things we have learned the easier it will be to retain it. Several passages teach this principle of repetition in the process of learning (Josh.1:8; Psa.49:3; 119:11-148; 1 Tim.4:15). By meditation, or repetition in the mind, of things learned, we come to know and understand fully the will of God. So the third step to retaining what we have learned is repetition.

I am convinced if we will put these three steps into action in our study life we will be better able to retain the things we learn from our studies. Remember the three steps: Repetition -- Repetition -- Repetition. By these three steps we can retain what we have learned and thus make continual use of that information as we teach others.


This page is Copyright 1998 by Alex Ogden, All Rights Reserved.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 04, 1998.


Unable to open file