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.
The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive. Proverbs 20:27
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 is sincere with compliments and speaks specifically. e.g. 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.
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15
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.
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Psalm 15:2–3
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.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5–6
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.
To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet. Proverbs 29:5
Who are you . . . a flatterer or an encourager?