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Bible Quotes
I will not show partiality to any man or use flattery toward any person. For I do not know how to flatter, else my Maker would soon take me away.
(Job 32:21,22) ESV

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
(Proverbs 12:1) ESV

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
(Proverbs 16:25) ESV

Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling. A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
(Proverbs 26:24-28) ESV

A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
(Proverbs 29:5) ESV

But test everything; hold fast what is good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:21) ESV

While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
(2 Timothy 3:13) ESV

These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
(Jude 1:16) ESV1

Inspirational Quotes from Famous People

A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.
--James Monroe American President Born 1758 Died 1831

A woman's flattery may inflate a man's head a little; but her criticism goes straight to his heart, and contracts it so that it can never again hold quite as much love for her.
--Helen Rowland American Writer Born 1875 Died 1950

Baloney is flattery laid on so thick it cannot be true, and blarney is flattery so thin we love it.
--Fulton J. Sheen American Clergyman Born 1895 Died 1979

Between flattery and admiration there often flows a river of contempt.
--Minna Antrim American Writer

Flattery and insults raise the same question: What do you want?
--Mason Cooley American Writer Born 1927 Died 2002

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.
--Edmund Burke Irish Statesman Born 1729 Died 1797

Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it but don't swallow it.
--Hank Ketcham American Cartoonist Born 1920 Died 2001

Imitation is the sincerest flattery.
--Mahatma Gandhi Indian Leader Born 1869 Died 1948

Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
--Joyce Brothers American Psychologist Born 1927

The aim of flattery is to soothe and encourage us by assuring us of the truth of an opinion we have already formed about ourselves.
--Edith Sitwell British Poet Born 1887 Died 1964

The best form of flattery is to be admired, imitated or respected. I've always felt proud our fans look up to us or feel we are inspirational.
--Cheryl James American Musician Born 19644

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1 Corinthians 13 - Love
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Flattery and the Bible

What is wrong with flattery? Why does the Bible make such a big deal about "flattery" being wrong?

What is flattery? The first entry for flattery in Webster's dictionary is: To praise excessively especially from motives of self-interest. Or to: To portray too favorably. Or to: to display to advantage. The basic truth is that flattery is an "over the top" statement generally offered in order to gain advantage for yourself. Have you ever seen someone telling a person how great they are, how wonderful they are, how awesome they are and every other superlative you can think of? A flatterer is one who says things to people and about people in order to gain advantage.

The question is; why do we offer flattering comments? For instance, if one kid says to another, "you are a totally righteous dude", do they really mean that or are they saying it so the other kid will like them, include them in their group and so on. No "dude" is totally righteous and that same dude could become your enemy or worse yet, use you to their own advantage.

A genuine compliment of someone's talent is not flattery. It is an honest statement of sincere appreciation of their talent or accomplishments. We should not offer praise or compliments in order to "get something" in return. You may encourage someone and that may result in their liking you but if your motive is not "self-serving", you have done the right thing.

Listen to what Jude, the half brother of Jesus and the brother of James had to say about people who flatter: "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage." Jude 14 NKJV. Jude's words match up perfectly with Webster's definition of flattery: Excessive praise, especially if you want to gain favor or advantage, is forbidden.

The Apostle Paul adds some information that is helpful. Listen: "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 16:18 NKJV

Paul taught you that in some cases, flattery and smooth words deceive the "simple". People who are "simple-minded" are easily deceived. You should see flattery for what it is; an attempt to manipulate and control you offered by a person who is seeking something from you. Don't you know when someone is "flattering" you? How does that make you feel?

What is an appropriate response to flattery? Should you immediately not trust that person? When you admire the qualities of a person, what sort of phrases can you use that will keep them from thinking that you are a "self-serving flatterer"?

For the "adults" in this study, listen to Solomon's words on this subject: "With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him." Proverbs 7:21 NKJV ...a flattering mouth works ruin." Proverbs 26:28 NKJV (men and women, please do not doubt this truth for one moment!).

Core Christian Value: Flattery is excessive and insincere praise intended to gain advantage. It is self serving and it is forbidden.2
 

 

Testimonials and Comments

 
 

 

Definition of Flattery

The act or practice of flattering; the act of pleasing by artful commendation or compliments; adulation; false, insincere, or excessive praise.3  
          

 

MUSIC ALBUMS

 

 
References and notes
1. OpenBible.info - http://www.openbible.info/topics
2.  What is wrong with flattery? - http://www.solascriptura.com/devotion/2010/01/what-is-wrong-with-flattery-january-12.html
3. 
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary - http://topicalbible.org/f/flattery.htm
4.  Brainy Quote - http://www.brainyquote.com/

 


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