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Flattery Can Be a Trap

     Sometime we want to compliment another person. Good intentions on our part may end up as a trap for the person we are complimenting.   "A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. ".1 Before we approach someone with a compliment or a criticism, it would be best to pray.  " A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin. "  2

     Consider for a moment the person that you want to express your true feelings of respect for someone's accomplishments.  If you do not know how the person receiving your comments will act on them, you have the responsiblity to be aware of the fact that they may take the comments as flattery no matter how you mean them.

"The powerful businessman or politician is surrounded by ‘yes men’ who are more concerned about advancing their own careers than giving wise advice. Flattery which is not malicious can be harmful. For example, church members who offer insincere praise for the mediocre sermon of a young layman may encourage him to devote his life to a ministry for which he lacks the necessary gifts and calling."3


1     The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Prov. 26:28.
2     The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Pov. 29:5.

3     Jim Newheiser, Opening Up Proverbs, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2008), 138.

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