Everybody enjoys a little flattery now and then. We like to be appreciated and we like to know people are aware of what we have been doing. But there are inherent dangers with flattery — especially if the flattery is self-given. Consider some of the dangers Solomon lays out concerning this subject.
“To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words” (Proverbs 2:16, KJV).
“He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips” (Proverbs 20:19, KJV).
“A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin” (Proverbs 26:28, ESV).
“Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue” (Proverbs 28:23, ESV).
“A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet” (Proverbs 29:5, ESV).
As you can easily read, flattery is not so good after all. It has caused many a problem over the millennia.
How many extra-marital affairs have been caused because one decided to use the art of flattery to “seduce” another? How many families have been torn apart by seemingly innocent yet sinful and smooth talk?
How many souls have been lost because one chose to unnecessarily flatter another instead of assisting in the correction of their sinful behavior? In this unique situation, two souls have been put in jeopardy!
Some have learned the very fine and very subtle art of self-flattery without it seeming as though they are doing so — many being preachers of God’s Word. Preachers, if God is pleased with our work, then this is all we need to know, regardless of how appreciated we feel.
On this day, let us humbly go about our work — see that it gets finished completely, accurately and on time. Do so without the need for fanfare, flattery or festivity.
Today, just be a quiet and meek worker for God!