I’ve been whacking away on a review sheet for the upcoming final I’ll be giving my ninth-grade students, and it struck me that I could use some review as well. Who couldn’t? The Christian life requires constant review of the truths and promises of God; otherwise we forget His goodness to us, and this invariably leads to some slip up or fall.
Whenever my husband and I travel for a speaking event, I always come back refreshed. Not only do we have the opportunity to hear other speakers, but we have to prepare and deliver our own. My talk will usually be a new arrangement of much of the same material I have spoken on before, but it is stimulating for me to review and rearrange. I always sit in on my husband’s talks, and they may be covering material that I have heard him address many times before. But it is always a blessing to go over it again and to hear it again. Why? Because it is not simply information; it is food.
It’s always good to be reminded again of the basics: things like confess your sins, respect your husband, love your kids, etc. Paul said he didn’t mind going over the same material again, and that it was good for the hearers (Philippians 3:1). But the reason it’s good to be reminded is because it is nourishing. When I hear a talk about basic Christian living, I may not actually learn anything startlingly new (though it may be framed in a new way), but I am edified and built up because I am being fed. When I sit down to dinner, it may not be a new recipe, but it nourishes me all the same.
So if we skip out on the review sessions (I’ve heard all this before….), it is no wonder we are not prepared when the test comes (and it always does come). Without review we get weak and even foolish. And of course there are applications of this principle for mothers. Little kids need review, review, review. It would be nice if we could just tell them the rule once: “Be nice to your sister. No hitting.” But they need to hear it said lovingly (and sternly) many times a day, year after year, just like we do. And they are not the only ones who are slow learners!