“The faintest pencil is better than the sharpest mind.”
This, more than any other statement, underscores the importance of journaling as part of your devotions. Research has established that writing is one of the surest ways of knowledge retention.
As you study the word and spend time in prayer, it is always a good idea to journal the journey. If you are using a devotional booklet, it most probably has some space for you to do this. If not, you can use a notebook or you could use the sample below:
Journals are powerful measurement tools. You can use it to analyse how far along you have come in your study and know when and where correction is needed. If you have a blog, you can use the journal entries as possible blog posts that you can add flesh to and publish on the blog. Journaling also helps in strengthening your discipline since it is something you get accustomed to doing day in day out.
Let us look at some of the reasons why you should start keeping a devotional journal:
Journaling helps you to walk in obedience
Journaling will force you to slow down your pace of reading the Bible and this gives our mortal mind more time to hear from the immortal God. As you jot down the thoughts the Holy Spirit inspires you to, you hear him more clearly and it becomes easier to walk in obedience. You can use different pen colours to colour-code your journal entries. For instance, red can be used for when you are upset, green when you are happy, blue when you are remorseful and black for all other notes. These colour codes can help you to easily locate related topics in the past entries.
Journaling helps you to remember and memorize scripture
Research shows that you remember only 10% of what you read but over 50% of what you wrote. Journaling is, therefore, a great way of memorizing scripture.
Journaling helps you out words into feelings
Writing is used by psychologists as a tool of therapy. That is because writing causes the feelings that were buried to come alive. When journaling, you express your raw thoughts to God and this results in an authentic relationship. That is the kind of relationship David had with God. When he was mad at God, he would let him know. When he was hungry and tired, he would let God know. You can get to this level of relating with God by starting a regular journaling regimen.
Journaling documents your growth
Journals are instruments of recording your spiritual growth. As you mature in Christ, you will probably find stuff in there that you will not be too proud of – but that is okay because it shows growth. You can also look at the prayers you made before and how God answered them.
D. A. Carson wrote:
Believers who spend no time reviewing and pondering in their minds what God has done, whether they are alone and reading their Bibles or joining with other believers in corporate adoration, should not be surprised if they rarely sense that God is near.
Here are a few tips to get you started journaling.
- Buy a nice notepad and keep it in your devotional space.
- Just be yourself. Don’t worry about doing it right – just be personal.
- Be creative. Do you like to draw or sketch? Add images to your notes. Check out these pages on Pinterest and be inspired,