|Job 32:21 NCV|
|2017-04-25||Written by Bob and Debby Gass|
|Flattery will get you nowhere|
It's important for us to learn how to recognise flattery. It's usually excessive, over-the- top praise, and the giver will have an ulterior motive. Perhaps to make you more open and sympathetic towards them in order to gain your approval, or maybe to get something out of you that benefits them. A genuine compliment is truthful praise, given from a heart that's not seeking to gain anything at all. We need to learn the difference because flattery can damage us. If we begin to trust the words of someone who deliberately uses it, they gain a kind of power over us, a way to manipulate us. The Bible even warns us about people who use flattery. Romans 16:18 reminds us: 'Such people are not serving our Lord Christ...by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people' (NIV). Job's friend Elihu said: 'I will be fair to everyone and not flatter anyone. I don't know how to flatter, and if I did, my Maker would quickly take me away' (Job 32:21-22 NCV). It's clear that God sees flattery as unfair and untruthful. So when we start being susceptible to flattery, it can give us a false idea of ourselves. It might tempt us to think we're better than we actually are, and then we lose some of our motivation to improve and grow. Proverbs 27:6 says that 'wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy' (NLT). Even if it hurts for a while, it's much better for us to hear truthful words from someone who really cares, and wants us to be our best, than to be given insincere compliments from someone who's trying to gain something from us.
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