Psalm 12:1-4 “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 3 The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?”
Flattery is something we don’t think much about. Many equate it with being complimentary when there is a stark (and dark) difference between flattery and doling out compliments.
Flattery “makes use” of the receiver’s need to be praised or to have his ego stroked. A flatterer desires to manipulate others into doing his bidding or to cover his motives. Flattery gives false praise for the purpose of controlling the receiver. In contrast, a compliment genuinely honors the receiver with kind, true words which builds relationships rather than tearing them down/undermining them. Compliments are sincere, genuine and heartfelt.
Flattery ultimately benefits the giver; whereas compliments are about sincere praise for the benefit of the receiver. The basic difference is the motivation behind the words. As Believers, we should strive always to offer honest, encouraging words for the purpose of building others up (not out of selfish ambition) and resist the lying, manipulative words of flattery.
Scripture is clear about how God feels about flattery (Jude 1:16-19; Psalm 5:9, 12:2-3, 55:21; Proverbs 7:21, 29:5). How God describes flatterers:
1) Walk after their OWN lusts
2) Are motivated to take advantage
2) Have “no faithfulness in their mouth
3) Are wicked on the inside
4) Their throat is like an open grave
5) They speak with a “double heart”
6) They speak out of pride
7) War is in their lips
8) Their words are drawn swords
9) They are your “secret” enemy
10) Their words are used to “force” (a/k/a control – Jezebel Spirit)
11) Their words set a trap
May the Holy Spirit bring this scripture to our remembrance before we give in to the Enemy’s temptation to flatter:
Psalm 12: 3 “The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things”
Abba Father, thank you for Your Word which renews our minds. May no corrupt communication come out of our mouths, but only words which edify and minister grace to others; that we should not grieve the Holy Spirit, but put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, loud demands, and evil speaking with any and all thoughts of ill will that delights in the misfortune of others. Instead, that we commit to your Word to be kind to one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as You Father, for Christ's sake have forgiven us. Amen. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
Crying out in the wilderness,