Put it in Writing
November 3, 2021
Don't Miss a Devotional
Sign up to get Mark’s encouraging devotions in your inbox every week
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
-2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Putting things in writing has two primary benefits. The first is clarity. The process of putting things on paper forces us to be precise. It’s the way we take our thoughts captive with the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet and make them obedient to Christ. That goes for goals as well as gratitude!
The second effect is memory. Writing things down has a generation effect—we demonstrate better memory for the things we’ve written down than things we simply read. The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. Writing encodes things into long-term memory.
Are your life goals in writing? How about your core values? What about your personal definition of success? Do you keep a gratitude journal? A prayer journal?
In the Deuteronomic code, a curious command is given to ancient Jewish kings: “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law.” The king had places to go and things to do! Why take the time to write out the entire Torah in longhand? Was that really necessary? The answer is embedded in the amendment: “So that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law.”
I call this the king habit, and it involved three provisions. First, the king had to write out the Torah. Second, the king had to keep that copy on his person at all times. Third, the king had to read from it daily. I’ll give you a pass on the first provision. If you have a smartphone, the second provision is as simple as downloading a digital Bible. The key is the third provision, and the best way to put it into practice is a daily Bible reading plan. It’s one of the best pre-decisions you’ll ever make. Not only does it serve as preventive medicine; it also creates a craving for God’s Word.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.