Every inch of my bedroom walls, including the baseboards and doors, were covered with Jackson Five pictures and posters from the RIGHT ON! Magazine. When my sister Leslie was about two or three years old, in front of Mommy, she identified each member of the group, “ Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael.” Then she began to sing their song, “ABC”. I was so proud of Les; Mommy was not.
“What’s your telephone number baby?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s your address baby?”
“I don’t know.”
Mommy started screaming at me. “My child knows all about The Jackson Five, but she doesn’t know her telephone number and address?!! You have two weeks to teach this child these things or I will beat your behind.” I was not a lover of pain, so I immediately enrolled Les in my indoctrination school. During bath, meals, play and our limited T.V. times, Les was grilled until she could recite and dial our telephone number, and she could tell anyone who asked our address. And I was several days ahead of schedule.
We can quote lines from our favorite songs and movies quickly. Sports lovers can recite the scoring records of their favorite teams without hesitation. Some can dialogue expertly about the interchanging relationships of celebrities; they know who was married to whom and for how long. Others have such a large repertoire of facts, figures and quotes occupying their brains that there is no room for anything else.
We can quote, recite, dialogue, and memorize anything we want to, but can we quote and recite The Word of God? Can we enter into a respectful dialogue with someone about God’s precepts and commandments? Have we memorized any substantial portions of God’s Word, ever?
The collective head dropping begins.
Lines from songs and films can encourage and entertain, but the power is in quoting and living the Word of God. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV). “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV).