With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Psalm 62:4b NIV
School begins tomorrow and I will have the privilege of leading the children while only catching glimpses of them in my rear view mirror as I drive. I made up a song to help them remember the rules of the bus. This doesn’t mean that they actually follow the rules, but they like the song.
Rule number four, you will recall, say something nice, or nutt’n at all.
King David was very familiar with phonies, hypocrites, and fake political friends. He was literally running away from those “friends” in order to save his life and the life of his oldest and closest friends. How many times did those “friends” tell David great things about him as a king?
When you are in leadership, many will choose to tell you what they think that you want to hear and not what they actually believe. Just a note, what they actually believe is not necessarily the truth either, it is just their opinion. Is there a way to discern when a person is speaking one way and yet believing another?
The Bible has much to say about flattery and its association with deceiving others. May these verses give some light on their deceiving way. You will have greater discernment if you commit these verses to memory. You will be giving the Holy Spirit an abundance of tools to help you navigate what others are thinking.
What to listen for in flattering speech
- Look for hatred of others in their speech. They may be saying nice things to you, but listen for them to talk negatively about others. A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin. Proverbs 26:28 NIV Also, if somebody takes the time to talk negatively to you about someone else, they will find the time to talk to someone else negatively about you :).
- Listen for fear of men and not fear of God. A flattering person does not follow God’s spiritual moral compass, but is invested in making good impressions on others. Otherwise, they would have to be humble and repent. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. I Thessalonians 2:3-4. ESV
- Listen for talk that benefits themselves. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. Romans 16:18 ESV.
- Listen for greed. A flattering person will reveal at some point that their main concern is for their own greed for power, position or money. Many are hoping to be appointed to a favored status in your organization. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 1 Thessalonians 2:5 ESV
- Run from the smooth talker of the opposite sex. Many have been deceived and ruined by following the smooth talk from a guy or girl that ends in a sexual encounter. If it violates God’s laws…it is never right even if it “feels” right. This talk is not limited to the bars and clubs, but happens just as frequently in the workplace environment. With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. Proverbs 7:21 ESV
- Listen for boasting. Only God is deserving of all glory. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, Psalm 12:3 ESV
How to walk in purity and not being fake
- Repent and ask God to forgive you where you have used flattery lips to gain unfair advantage. 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
- Recognize the conflict of a divided heart and ask God to help you follow His path of speaking life. Yes! You can also be part of the problem. Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. Psalm 12:2 ESV
- Receive correction in a teachable manner. Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. Proverbs 10:17 ESV
Sometimes it is best to be quiet. Other times, it is good to speak the truth in love. Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue. Proverbs 28:23 ESV
A true friend is of great value. They are present when necessary and speak what needs to be said. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:6 ESV
May God align the life giving thoughts in your heart with the words that come out of your mouth.
Blessings Love y’all