Thursday, July 21, 2016

Beware of Flattery

Today, the word flattery can mean anything from “a flattering compliment” to “insincere, excessive praise.” The flattery talked about in the Bible isn’t a regular compliment. The flattery that the Bible condemns is a dishonest, laying-it-on-thick form of flattery that people will use to try to butter you up. God warns us in the Bible that people who use flattery are setting a trap, and the person who flatters you just might be your enemy.

“A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.” Proverbs 29:5

“Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.” Psalm 5:8-9

If you are living a godly, Christian life, there will be people that are out to get you. Occasionally, reprobates will creep into the church and try to target key players. Sometimes it is hard for us as Christians to comprehend that some people have very sinister motives.

“Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.” Micah 2:1

People who are young and naïve are often susceptible to flattery-- like when a predator tells a girl he can make her a model and she ends up the victim of a sex-trafficking ring. Learn the difference between a regular compliment and suspicious behavior. People who flatter you probably want something from you.

The flatterer in church will try to gain your confidence and then betray you since the Bible says they are also talebearers. People want to be liked, and they want to open up to their friends, but you shouldn’t tell people too much too soon—especially if they seem to be flattering you while gossiping about others.

“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” Proverbs 29:11

“He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” Proverbs 20:19

Flattery probably isn’t a tactic that you’ll have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, but it does happen—especially in churches. If someone flatters you to the point where you feel uncomfortable, it’s probably a red flag, and you should avoid that person.

Here is a sermon to go with this article.


Gee Bee said...

Well, I used to complain about my wife not complementing me enough. I guess I'd rather that than insincerity.

Anonymous said...

Here is flattery I endured - and found out that it was all false. In my last job of 5+ years, I was doing Service Desk and IT Support for a company of 600 employees. I did well in my job. Often people would say to me, "you're a star!" and "what will the company ever do without you?". People would pay compliments, even ones I knew were fake (like ones about appearance, which clearly was fake!). Yeah, they all "loved" me...

And then they decided to outsource the teams and they used underhanded tactics to force me to resign! As for all the people who knew me all those years, flattered me... TWO kept in touch afterwards. Out of 600 people. People who had known me for years, even so-called Christians, couldn't give a rip about me. As for "what the company did without me", their outsourced teams are miserable but they're still making profit - nobody is indispensable, even those who work well. Don't be fooled into thinking "you're the man" and don't believe the flattery.

So let there be 2x lessons there for those who read this: 1) flattery is false and only serves to get something out of you by deceit, and 2) avoid the office world like the plague, it's wicked.