What is the difference between sentiment and sentimentality?

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance” Proverbs 1:5 (NIV)  

Sentiment – “a view of or attitude toward a situation or event; an opinion” 

Sentimentality – “expression of gentle emotions such as lovesympathy, or caring 

The other night I was watching television and I heard the words, “sentiment” and “sentimentality” used in a sentence.  It caused me to think about the definitions for each and how they are used in different ways. Looking at their official definitions from Webster’s Dictionary, I find it interesting to compare them.   

We often have an attitude, opinion, or viewpoint about something, and we are created to have such.  I do wonder how our interactions would be impacted if we approached our perspective with “sentimentality.”  I must confess, I do not always approach conversations with gentle emotions of love and grace, but I try.   

I believe that most of us are doing the best we can. Trying and seeking to grow in who we are and how we live is a never-ending task of a Christian’s daily walk. In our scripture reading today, we are reminded to listen and learn from those with wisdom, so that the Holy Spirit can guide us.   

I pray that as I continue to seek the wisdom of others and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit, I will learn to offer my sentiments with a greater emphasis on my sentimentality. 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

Milestone Birthdays

On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants. Genesis 40:20 

August is my birthday month, as I have shared in recent weeks. I am looking forward to the milestone of reaching 70 years old in another week. In some ways every birthday is a milestone, but we tend to focus our celebration on those special ones which end in zero: 30, 40, 50, etc. I’m not so much convinced I need a big party this month, as I want to focus on gratitude for longevity and reasonably good health.  

The ancient Romans are to thank for the first milestones. As part of their roadways, they marked distances traveled between two points using engraved stones on the side of the road every 1,000 paces or one “mille” in Latin. We still use this system today along our highways, with mile markers made of metal and numbers printed on them. Over time the word milestone was used to designate a passage of time or an important event as well as a distance traveled. Nowadays, graduating from high school, getting married, and buying your first home are considered milestones. 

I have been wondering whether a milestone birthday should reflect the decade coming to a close or the welcoming of a new decade? Surely this is a time of new beginnings as well as a time for reflection. At my age, I don’t really need any more stuff, so birthday presents are not the issue for me. But I love having my family and friends around. This is a time to honor family and friends who mean so much to our lives. 

Even the Egyptian Pharaoh had a party on his birthday; there’s good precedent for a celebration. I am deeply grateful that I am here to experience this milestone. I thank God for life and health and all the many blessings I enjoy each and every day. I encourage you to offer thanks to God for your life and the blessings you experience daily. 

Posted by Bob Winstead
Tags: devotion

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