Friday, March 15, 2013

String Around the Finger

Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (Deuteronomy 6:8 NIV)

Tie a String around the FingerAmong the many strategies to help a person remember better is one we are all familiar with that is closely associated to the concept of tying a string around the finger. In essence, this approach is about putting something in our environment to create a visual reminder for ourselves, explained Molly Edmonds in her article on the top ten ways to improve memory at Discovery.com.

Directions on how to employ this strategy is found in another article on the same topic at Muskingum.edu. Steps to be taken include identifying the task or information to remember, picking an action or mental picture to remind oneself of the task or information, and rehearsing the action or mental picture several times. An example is turning the sleeve of a coat inside out to remember to bring something the next day or placing an object on the floor in front of the door leaving the house as an obvious reminder.

Like the visual reminder used in memory strategies, the Bible in the Old Testament mentioned a similar strategy to help the sons of Israel remember the instructions of God. The tefillin are two small leather boxes worn on the head and on one arm as a symbol and reminder of God’s word  to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5-9). These boxes are held in place by leather straps and contain verses from the Torah or the five books of Moses.

What about us? How do we remind ourselves to love the Lord our God? Do we use something similar to tying a string around our finger to remind ourselves to walk rightly in God? What visual reminder can we employ to help us remember to put God first in our lives in every situation?

The first step of identifying is obvious and can only be achieved by studying the word of God daily and remembering what we have learned. The next is for us to pick an action or mental picture to remind us to seek God in every situation or to do something good each day. We can then rehearse mentally and purpose in our heart to dwell our minds on and do whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

Dear Lord, thank You for giving us Your word to guide us in our walk. Your word O Lord we have kept in our heart that we may not sin against You. Help us Lord to be mindful of You and Your teachings in every situation. Place in our minds visual reminders of whatever is good, pure, and worthy of praise Lord that we may put into action such things in love. We love You O Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength.

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