30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - What you say (and don't say) will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues
Day Two - The Flattering Tongue
These people... flatter others to get favors in return - Jude 1:16
Flattery is a lie covered in a bed of flowery words. Most people who engage in this dishonest communication do so to gain favor. The flatterer may have low self-worth and believe others will like him more if he compliments them.
Engaging in flattery is clear evidence of one's lack of faith in God's ability to give him favor with other people. Favor is a fringe benefit of being in right standing with our Creator. For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favors as with a shield - Psalm 5:12
There are many instances in the Bible of God giving His children favor with man -- with no effort on their part. Esther (Esther 2) - Daniel (Daniel 1) - Joseph (Genesis 39-41) These children of the Most High never had to resort to any form of self-effort in order to ingratiate themselves for gain or survival.
Can you think of a time that you flattered someone by giving him an insincere compliment? How did you feel afterward? Unless you have grown comfortable with such insincere behavior and have become insensitive to the Holy Spirit, flattering someone will most likely cause you to feel you have violated your personal integrity.
If you are a flatterer, understand that when you are over-complimenting a person, the flower of your words will soon wilt and lose all impact. There are periods in all of our lives when we may find ourselves vulnerable to flattery. These times can occur when we feel overlooked, unappreciated, unattractive, or a host of other negative emotions that Satan brings.
Some people use flattery as a survival tactic. Emotionally healthy people only appreciate sincere praise they earn for a specific distinction. Further, many can detect a compliment given to gain favor as well as words spoken with ulterior motives. The paradox is that they will tend to look with disfavor, rather than favor, on someone who compliments them in general for no apparent reason.
Scripture is very clear on God's plans for the flatterer. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips... - Psalm 12:3 Is flattery worth being cut off from the blessings of God?
I will show partially to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away - Job 32:21-22
If in reading this you feel a tug in you heart, that's the Holy Spirit urging you to turn Job's words into a prayer and vow of you own. Remember that through Christ we can do all things (Phil 4:13), even stop using flattery.