We've been looking at several 'diseases' of our tongue, and the way we speak. Now we've nearly come to the end of our list, with the 'disease' of the tongue number five: Flattery.
“Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbour; their flattering lips speak with deception. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue.” (Psalm 12:1-3 (NIV))
In this Scripture David is speaking about a state of moral decline in the human race. I believe it is not unlike what we see around us today. Godly men are difficult to find. The faithful have vanished. What is the result? "Everyone lies to his neighbour; their flattering lips speak with deception." A judgment of God is pronounced by the Scripture upon these flattering lips: "May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue."
In Proverbs 26:28 we are warned:
“A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” (NIV)
If we listen to and receive flattery, or if we become flatterers, the end is ruin.
“Whoever flatters his neighbour is spreading a net for his feet.” (Proverbs 29:5 (NIV))
After many years in the ministry, I have learned by practical experience that this is true. There are people who will speak flattering words, but they are not sincere. There is another motive behind it. And many times, if it had not been for the grace of God, my feet would have been caught in that net of flattery. I would have been led into some commitment or some relationship that was outside the will of God. So bear that in mind: "a flattering mouth works ruin" and "whoever flatters his neighbour is spreading a net for his feet."
Dear Lord, please help me to speak encouragement as opposed to flattery. I pray that my words may sustain the weary and be a source of hope for those who need it. Please help me to be sensitive to Your Holy Spirit, when You want to encourage someone and lift him or her up. In Jesus' Name, Amen.