The second item on the freedom guide is to personalize Scripture. I take 3×5 cards and write out the verse or verses so that they pertain directly to me, putting my name in them as much as it works. I then read them aloud to myself as often as needed. In some of the darkest times, I’ve had so many that I bought a photo album to put them in so that I could more easily flip through.
For example, Psalm 100:4 reads as follows: Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
There are 2 ways, or at least 2 ways to personalize this. First, I can say: I will enter his gates with thanksgiving. I will go into his courts with praise. I will give thanks to him and I will praise his name.
Or: Alice will enter his gates with thanksgiving. Alice will go into his courts with praise. Alice will give thanks to him and Alice will praise his name.
So why do this?
I personalize the verses so that I make a greater and more personal connection to what the Scripture is saying to me. Since I grew up in church and reading the Bible, often times it is easy for me to just skip over things because of familiarity. However, when I take the time to personalize the verse(s), often times I am encouraged (or challenged!) in a new and different way by what I’m reading. I also think that personalizing the Scriptures helps me to “own” them. They aren’t just something someone a couple thousand years ago wrote, this is what God is saying to me right here and now.
I read them out loud because Romans 10:17 says that hearing the Word produces more faith. I don’t know exactly why this is so, it may have something to do with increasing the sensory input, or perhaps something to do with quantum physics. But from experience, I have found this to be true. There is something powerful about hearing the word.
Writing things out longhand theoretically makes a greater connection with your mental processes than typing. There are those who recommend keeping a handwritten journal for this reason. I find it easier to hand write on a 3×5 card than try and print on it…maybe if I had a typewriter still, but…
I write them on 3×5 cards probably as a throwback to school writing projects before Google and the WWW. But, they are still a nice size to write most verses out and they are sturdy enough to flip through often without falling apart. You can also prop them up next to the coffee/tea pot, tape them to the bathroom mirror, or whatever so that you see them frequently. Having a stack in the car to flip through while stuck in traffic makes good use of that time and probably would keep your blood pressure lower!
Have you used this tool? What is your favorite way of personalizing Scripture? If you would like more information on this and the rest of the items on the Freedom Guide, I expanded this content into a book and workbook that you can purchase from me in the office, at my online shop or other retailers here.