We live in a culture that is filled with fakery at every turn. You have men pretending to be women, and women pretending to be men. We even have folks pretending they are animals, and the world celebrates and cheers these lies. And if anyone dare tell these folks the truth, they are demonized as “judgmental and hateful” And as Christians, we look at them as if they are crazy. How dare them lie to these deceived folks and then turn around and call us such names? While we as Christians, do well if we are loving our neighbors and telling them the truth about their true condition. Sinners must be informed of their disease (condition) before they will see a need for the cure (Christ) That they are wretched sinners, as once were we, and there is a merciful Savior that died on a Cross, to free us from our bondage to sin.
We, as Christians see the world readily accepting lies. But not so fast, then there is us, talking to a friend and she inserts some gossip in about another friend and we quickly and in love, even after a temptation to join in, remind our friend that we should not be discussing our friend in such a matter, that we should go to our friend and support and help her in this hard time in her life. That friend can react one of two ways. Firstly, recognize her sin and apologize for slipping into the sin of gossip. Or secondly, she could be offended and see your rebuke as a personal attack. The second response reflecting pride. Gossip and Flattery are much the same and both are just as destructive. Rooted in pride.
With gossip you are talking about someone and your perception of their faults. Gossip tears another down to build yourself up. Even if you preface your gossip with “concern” it is still rooted in pride, desiring to put someone in a bad light. Gossip is a form of lying, spreading falsehoods.
Flattery also is a form of lying. Flattery sets a trap for the hearer. And if it is a believer that is flattering, they are in danger of causing a brother/sister to stumble. Wanting to build up oneself or another by giving fake praise. Beware of receiving flattery, there is a snare that we can be caught up in. Desiring and fishing for flattery is asking for trouble. Who is flattering us and why? Flattery is not harmless, nor is it considered encouragement.
Encouragement is based in truth and truly loving the one you desire to encourage in the Lord. But flattery it seeks its own, its motives are deceit and manipulation. Flattery seduces our pride. Flattery puffs us up. Not only is flattering someone a sin but also believing flattery of someone else. Flattery is a flesh feeder, it makes us “feel” good about ourselves. And all the while we know it is’nt not true. It’s lies, futility and seduction.
Most of us have been there, in the receiving fake flattery or giving fake flattery, that we knew we were giving only for selfish means. We either knew the person loves to be flattered or deep in our hearts we wanted to manipulate that person for our own ends. Or so many were giving fake praise, we did not want to be left out. This is a hard one to come to terms with.Flattery is always insincere and excessive. Always uses “smooth words”. Not authentic but rather fake. Compliments and flattery can seem the same, but they are not. Compliments build up the hearer, and flattery benefits the giver.
As parents we can fall into the sin of flattery. We can think that we are doing our child good by flattering him in either his/her appearance or his/her performance, and we can do great damage. When a child is raised with constant empty praise, they will begin to look for that empty praise as their worth. Even into adulthood.That is harmful and grievous.
Maybe we all know an adult that must be flattered, or they feel inadequate or not “affirmed”? This person craves flattery, and everyone knows that they continue the flattery to feed the pride, is guilty of lying to this person. It is a cruel thing to shower a child with empty praise and flattery. It is selfish, holding this child captive to lies. Masquerading flattery as love, is hateful.
Children can be praised or encouraged in truth and love. A child completes a chore well, then that is cause for encouraging that child. That is helpful and has encouraged that child in truth that their job was accomplished rightly and well. But in contrast, if the child performed their task very sloppily and poorly and you pour on false praise and flattery on that child, they will believe a lie. Instead of learning to do that job better, they will be satisfied with a job done poorly but expect flattery every time they have accomplished a poorly done chore.
Empty flattery and praise only benefit the one giving them. God’s Word stand in stark contrast with the fakery of this world. Truth is always love. There is so much fake false praise and flattery, prefaced with “I don’t judge”. So much of reality is being questioned by this generation. God is being called a liar, but we can see the true evidence of the truth of scripture in the world around us. God’s Word is true, and is being rejected by those who seek the fake, phony “love” that judges nothing and calls evil, good and good, evil.
For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts,
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
To preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
Things to think about:
- Flattering is NOT encouragement
- Flattery are lies to garner favor or advantage
- Love with truth. Build up and encourage with truth.
- Lies always cause destruction.