Proverbs 29:5, A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
Shakespeare wrote: "When I tell him he hates flatterers, He says he does; being then most flattered."
Used to be: "Flattery will not get you anywhere!"
Nowadays it is: "Flattery will get you everywhere!"
Today there is an epidemic of flattery.
But wisdom will keep us from the trap of flattery.
Wisdom will deliver us from the strange woman who flatters with her words.
Wisdom will keep us from meddling with him that flattereth with his lips.
Wisdom will keep us from the flattering mouth that works ruin.
So again wisdom comes to our aid and provides us with defenses from traps and bindings that restrict our freedom to serve God.
Wisdom cautions us that flattery comes with a price, it is designed with a net spread to trap the feet.
And like any trap, may cause hurt or damage to the one trapped.
Look at the word flattereth.
By looking at a word and its content, we can get a better understanding of its definition.
Flattereth contains the word flat.
Flat means a level plain, it means to lay smooth or even, to make broad or smooth.
That is where the word flatter comes from.
To flatter another is to make smooth, to soothe, to appease, to take out the kinks, to extend, to strain, to stretch.
It means to make another person flat.
It means to flatten the character of another.
To reduce another by playing to his self-love or vanity or pride.
To flatter means to use the weakness of another and to play to that weakness for one's own benefit.
It is to know the fallen nature of man and to use that fallen nature to benefit ones self.
Flattery is praise given for the wrong reasons.
Flattery is praise with strings attached.
A good flatterer is a good researcher.
He take mental notes about those things that people think of themselves more highly than they ought.
Those that exalt themselves are especially susceptible to the whiles of a flatterer.
Those that exalt themselves advertise or broadcast their good opinion of themselves.
A flatterer takes advantage of high self estimation.
And by praise confirms that estimation in the mind of the flattered.
He not only agrees with you but he embellishes your own high opinion of yourself which usually brings little argument.
A flatterer takes advantage of our natural self-love, our vanity and our pride.
Don't we all flatter ourselves?
Doesn't our self-flattery make the praise of other flatterers welcome?
Does not his flattery feed our pride, putting us in danger twice of falling into the net?
We flatter ourselves which is a lie and we welcome flattery which increases our pride.
A well dressed man may reveal a pride in his wardrobe which can be used in successful flattering.
Won't he welcome that which he believes to be true?
We can flatter a woman by praising her children.
Such welcome praise requires big returns to the flatterer.
We can play to a woman's vanity of appearance by praising her appearance whether it is worthy of praise or not.
She will believe it!
Someone who thinks highly of their intelligence is easily caught in the flatterer's net.
Even the phone salesperson uses flattery to catch a sale.
He or she knows nothing about you yet you are called discerning, wise, cost conscious, discriminating.
Well, aren't you? How they play to our baser instincts!
Nowadays it is popular to flatter children in order to enhance their self-esteem.
We flatter them by praising the most inconsequential things.
We elevate their grades, we make less stringent tests.
We give them such little challenge and heap such great praise upon them when they meet the puny challenge that it borders on the ridiculous.
We flatter them for their participation on the ball field to make them feel good so we will feel good that they are feeling good.
We want them pacified by flattery so that they are placid and docile and behave in a certain programmed way.
We certainly don't want them upset, because it upsets us!
We tell them they are special for no reason at all.
I don't really believe there is a good reason to tell them they are special anyway!
By these things we depreciate praise because we use it with ulterior motives.
The flatterer is interested in capturing in his net those he flatters.
The motive is control of the child, control of the woman, control of the well-dressed man.
The overall motive of flattering is bringing benefit to the one who flatters.
Sincerity and honesty of praise are sacrificed for self promotion and self benefit.
Flattery is destructive and given with unholy motives.
Praise is cheapened by flattery.
Praise is debt repaid for services rendered, for worthy actions, for personal virtues.
But flattery is a gift, unearned, blinding the eye from the net set to entrap the flattered.
Flattery may induce great expectations.
More than a person can deliver and thus ultimately bring about failure.
When you puff something up there is always danger of an explosion!
Flattery plays upon a man or women's vanity and pride and may expose them to great dangers, being too proud to admit that they cannot live up to the flattering expectations.
The flatterer raises false hopes by false or embellished praise.
The flatterer gives praise which may cause the one flattered to go in wrong directions, thinking more highly of their talents than those do that matter.
Flattering is not to be a practice of the Christian. It is a deceitful practice and certainly not a fruit of the Spirit.
It is practiced for selfish and destructive purposes and a habit that, by the grace of God, can be conquered.
We are a debtor to give praise but we should not benefit by the praise we give those who have earned our praise by blessing us.
Give praise with a pure heart!