5 Differences Between Flattery and Encouragement

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Are you a flatterer or an encourager?

It’s important to know the difference.

I found the following comparison while searching the web:

Flattery is the use of truths, half-truths or lies to secure something beneficial for ourselves.  Encouragement is the use of truth to build-up someone else.  In other words, flattery and encouragement differ in integrity and intention.  The flatterer will use whatever is needed (truth, half-truth, lies) to get what he wants.  The encourager only uses truth to build-up another person. (As Grace Extends)

Liars hate their victims; flatterers sabotage trust. Proverbs 26:28

5 Differences Between Flattery and Encouragement

1. Motive – There is one thought behind every shallow tidbit of flattery – what’s in it for me. Selfishness is the source of flattery.

2. Sincerity – Because of their selfish motives, flatterers are insincere.

“Flattery is a lie covered in a bed of flowery words.” ~ Deborah Smith Pegues, 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue

A true encourager compliments with sincerity. i.e. I appreciate how you ____________. I like the way you ___________. Your ____________ looks lovely. You are very good at _______________.

3. Truth – Flatterers say whatever it takes (distort, exaggerate . . . lie) to charm people and win their favor. Encouragers speak the truth without exaggeration. They are gentle and kind if the truth is unflattering. They look for ways to honestly help others experience God’s courage, strength, and hope. Encouragers want God to receive glory from their encouragement.

4. Audience – An encourager speaks highly of people even when they’re not there. Encouragers do not betray, gossip, or share personal information. Encouragers have integrity. They are authentic and trustworthy.

5. Faith – Flatterers believe they must manipulate others through words to earn their favor. Encouragers trust God to bless them, and want to bless others in return.

Appreciate every compliment. Give compliments.

But take yourself out of the compliment equation. Check your motive, sincerity, honesty, and your audience. Pray for God to increase your faith as you spend time with Him.

Flatterers look like friends just as wolves resemble dogs. Treachery may lurk in honeyed words — Danish proverb

You may have friends who are flatterers. People who manipulate you with sweet words to get what they want. I’m not suggesting you boot them to the curb; just remember to pray for wisdom to protect your heart and mind when you are with them.

Who are you . . . a flatterer or an encourager?

 

7 comments

  1. Barb Raveling
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow, I love that definition: Flattery is the use of truths, half-truths or lies to secure something beneficial for ourselves. Encouragement is the use of truth to build-up someone else.

    There is so much wisdom in this post, Deb – I’ve never thought of this subject before. And it’s good to think about it! I think I’ll have to pin this to my pinterest – I just discovered how you can use pinterest by looking at everyone else’s boards on Melanie’s Facebook message today!

    • Deb
      Twitter:
      says:

      Thanks Barb, I didn’t know about Pinterest groups before either. Leave it to Mel! ;-) I’m not sure what led me to think about this, but the more I researched it and thought about it I became aware that we are very susceptible to flattery. We also use it to our advantage. Something, I want to work on in my life.

      Seems like the Lord often nudges me to write about those things He wants me to think about. Each of us works in progress. Just so very thankful He doesn’t give up on me. Enjoy a blessing filled day!

      • Barb
        Twitter:
        says:

        In the past, I used to write about things I’d already worked through with God. I love writing about things I haven’t worked through yet because it’s such a growing experience. I’m growing to value writing and blogging which is really nice. :)

        • Deb
          Twitter:
          says:

          Yay Barb, I’m so glad. You’re really good at it. I learn so much as a work through things to write about them that I’ve decided anything the Lord lays on my heart is something to research, work on, and share. The blessing has been personal growth through blogging. If anyone else is ever blessed that is just a God-sized bonus blessing. :-)

          • Barb
            Twitter:
            says:

            Thanks for the encouragement, Deb. Hmm, Personal Growth through Blogging – sounds like a book title. Maybe you should write it. :) Or at least a blog post.

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