Diet – this word suggests restrictions. Often, we think woefully of all the things we cannot eat, and the things we need to do that require more effort than we want to give. Sometimes, we look at the scale and tell ourselves we are not that overweight and rationalize it away because we do not want to make the necessary changes. We say we will start tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.
Lifestyle – that word suggests promises of a better tomorrow. It is something we make for ourselves now or desire to attain in the future. We see it as doable and seek motivation to follow through to get the result which is positive and rewarding. Many of us will go out of our way to find a pathway we can live with to attain a lifestyle that we want.
Both diet and lifestyle mean the same thing – a regime that we accept or deny. To maintain a healthy weight means we need to have a lifestyle change. It is not something we can go on for the short-term. Many of us who have dieted have gained our weight back because we fall back into bad eating habits. To remain healthy and keep weight off means we must change our lifestyle.
In much the same way as diet and lifestyle are related, the same can be said for religion and relationship. As in diet and lifestyle, one word denotes something temporary and the other something more lasting.
Religion – this word suggests a denomination, a belief or conviction. Often, we think of a set of rules and regulations that must be followed. It is a type of service we attend or rituals we perform. Religion is outwardly performed to be seen by God and man. Once done, we go back to living our lives as we see fit. Or we may choose not to be “religious” because of the don’ts we think are involved.
Relationship – this is a personal bond that we have with something or someone. There is fellowship. It is a two-way street where there is give and take. Each person in a relationship has a role to perform. There are also rules and regulations or morals that govern the relationship.
Religion and relationship are tied together by faith. Religion are the things we do for God or to worship God. But a relationship with God means we get to know the Lord God Almighty as though He were a close friend or family member.
Our relationship with Him can either be defined by the rituals we perform or church we attend, or it can be more lasting – as He’s part of our daily lives. We make the time to read our Bible and pray. We desire to be more like Him and live our lives accordingly in a godly, moral way. Having a relationship with God is a lifestyle change.
Despite his arrogant past and his being sold into slavery and taken to Egypt, Joseph had a personal relationship with God. His lifestyle was moral and godly reflecting the life walk he chose because of his relationship with the Lord. Twice in Genesis 39 (Wayfinding Bible) it said the Lord was with Joseph and caused everything he did to succeed. Potiphar, Joseph’s master, noticed that and promoted him to run his household and all his possessions. When Potiphar threw him in prison because his wife lied about Joseph trying to rape her, the prison warden also noticed it and put Joseph in charge of the prisoners.
When we have a relationship with the Lord, people will notice. Knowing God is a life choice. It requires sacrificing time to be with Him in prayer and reading the Bible daily. It means to live a life that is moral and godly. If we do this as He did with Joseph, He will be with us and bless us.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD. Psalms 89:15