Your Questions Answered – The Word Hand

Robin Dennis, one of our lifelong labourers and disciple-makers, is doing a series this year on how to use some of the ‘discipleship tools’ we have available. This article first appeared in the Compass newsletter, Autumn 2023 issue.

The Word Hand Illustration

I don’t think one can go past the Word Hand illustration to teach how best to get the Word of God into a life.

Consider the five fingers of a hand. Commence with the little finger which is the weakest finger. This represents Hearing. While hearing is important, it is the weakest way to get the Word into a life. I am told that after 24 hours one remembers only 10% of what one has heard, (Luke 11:28). James 1:22 warns us that we must not just hear but we must do.

The next finger is for Reading, which gives us a panoramic view. After 24 hours one remembers 20-40% of what one has read. From the very early day God spoke of reading. See Deuteronomy 17:19, which states why the King is to read, and to read every day. This applies equally to us today.

The next finger represents Studying and is the microscopic view. After 24 hours one remembers 40-60%. Study is done with a pen in the hand. It takes time and the purpose is well stated in 2 Timothy 2:15.

The next finger is Memorising. After 24 hours one recalls 100% of what one has memorised. Memorising makes the Word clearer and helps in obedience. It also gives great confidence in sharing the Word. Psalm 119:9 and 11 gives a reason for hiding God’s word in your heart.

The thumb is for Meditating, which can be described as “prayerful reflection with a view to application”. Joshua 1:8 speaks of meditation. Note that as the thumb touches all four fingers, so I meditate on the Word taken in by each finger.

For more on The Word Hand Illustration, see our page dedicated to this Essential tool. Visit:

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