#WORDbeforeworld: One Month and a World of Difference

January 31, 2018  - By Gretchen Saffles

Last year I had the worst habit of waking up and scrolling on my phone first thing. I knew it wasn’t good for my soul, but I did in anyway. The warmth of my covers somehow lured me into staying “just a few minutes longer,” and my time with Jesus started to suffer. To be honest, I hated how quickly this habit started. 2017 was filled with change and transition in the life of our family, and I found myself looking for an “escape” through my phone rather than the stability of my Savior. By December 31st, I was done. When I started thinking through my resolutions for 2018, three words came to mind: Word before world. There were countless things I could have put on my list of resolutions, but this is the one that really mattered and would cause the rest to come to fruition.

Thousands of women committed to join me on January 1st in putting the Word before the world. Every day my Instagram feed has been filled with reminders that Jesus is better than cozy covers, a few extra minutes of sleep, and, most importantly, social media. We are 31 days in and I can already say my heart and soul are freer than they’ve been in a long time. Here’s why:

  1. Putting the Word before the world each morning shifts my focus from anxiety, to-do’s, and work, onto the God who holds the world in the palms of His hands. In my human flesh, I am prone to anxiety. Call me type-A, a (recovering) control freak, or just a woman who likes to have a plan, but I often struggle with that unwanted foe called worry. Each morning, in the first moments of the day, I’ve said a verse. The first words to fill my mind are the words of God. I flip my phone alarm off and do my best to set it back down, get out of bed, and go read the Word. Some days I’ve pulled my Bible straight into bed with me and read a psalm; some days I’ve written a brief prayer, and some days I’ve been able to do more in-depth Bible study. However, in each day one thing stays the same: I start surrendered and stable in my steadfast God, rather than anxious in my attempts to hold my own world together. It’s worth it. Every single morning.

  2. Putting the Word before the world has helped me be more disciplined in my days. The simple act of waking up and placing my eyes on Jesus through prayer and reading the Word has given a new focus to my days. I read Hello Mornings the first few weeks of January, and this book helped me implement a morning routine. For the first time in several years I’ve also started to do a quick exercise routine at the beginning of my days after I read Scripture, and this has also given me more energy and focus throughout my days!

  3. Putting the Word before the world has also been a faithful reminder that I am completely dependent upon God. Midway through this month I came down with strep throat, an additional virus, and was also exiting my first trimester of pregnancy. Needless to say, it was a rough week. This was when the #WORDbeforeworld challenge was hardest. When I was sick and just didn’t feel like reading or doing much, or on those days when my body needed extra rest, I relied on prayer, journaling, studying (when I was feeling better), and meditating on a verse first thing in the morning. I believe women quit studying the Word because they are unwilling to rest in grace. If they miss a day, they quit. If they get behind, they stop trying. If they don’t understand a hard passage, they determine it is just not for them. By saying “they” I can also put a giant “ME” in all these scenarios, because I have been in each of them! Studying the Bible requires discipline, and discipline is good for our souls and lives. The discipline of not giving up just might be the one we develop all year as we continue #WORDbeforeworld!

I don’t know what the rest of this year holds. I do know there will be circumstances that will redefine yet again what it means to get into the Word. However, it is my prayer that through developing the discipline of putting Jesus first, rather than starting off on the wrong foot of scrolling social media, will carry over into the unexpected trials that are ahead. Jesus is reshaping my priorities, and in addition, He is reshaping my entire life. I know that He is doing the same for you as well.

If you are participating in our #WORDbeforeworld challenge, I’d love to hear how this first month has been! What are the challenges you’ve faced? What has the Lord taught you? How has this new habit overflowed into the rest of your life? Comment below! If you write a blog post on your own blog, be sure to let us know about your post and link to this one so we can find you. Let’s continue to fill our world with the hope of our Savior. But remember, you cannot give what you have not first received. Be committed to receiving hope, truth, and grace from Jesus every single morning, and the rest will fall into place.

Putting Jesus first with you,


If you are looking for Bible study tools to help you put the Word before the world, here are a few of our favorites:

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  1. emilykate9595@hotmail.com says:

    I saw the #wordbeforeworld on instagram at the start of the year and I really wanted to make it a point to do something, whether it be read, journal, pray, listen to worship music, because I have fallen so out of the habit of quiet time. I started a year long bible plan on my phone and for 31 days I have immediately opened my phone and read the study for that day. I think my biggest weakness is the fear that I will fall off track and not feel like I can pick it back up. I am 34 weeks pregnant and I know my life will change drastically here soon, I am just hoping I can keep up the habit, and also give myself grace if I miss a morning.

  2. debra.johns11@yahoo.com says:

    This practice has been so very beneficial to my days!!! I love my time in the mornings to be cozy and get into the Word, i’m currently using “New Morning Mercies” to study the Word but I want to implement verse memorization as well. It’s been nice not hoping right onto my phone but I want to try to not even get on it at all in the mornings and instead continue to reflect on my quiet time/ be more intentional with human contact!

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