By Larry Pasley
Flattery is saying positive things about people that you do not really believe, and it is condemned in the Bible.
Flattery is a trap. Proverbs 29:5 asserts, "A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet."
Flattery is used to gain advantage over someone. "These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage" (Jude 1:16).
Flattery is deceptive. Paul wrote, "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple" (Romans 16:17-18).
Flattery brings ruin. "A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin" (Proverbs 26:28).
It is important that we are truthful in our speech toward others. But we need to be kind in speaking that truth.
Our words should be filled with grace. "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Colossians 4:6).
Our words control our destiny. "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37).
Say what you mean and mean what you say but don’t be mean with what you say.
- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street Church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.