Posts Tagged ‘flattery’

I am too much like the little girl who doesn’t listen to her mother, “Stay away from the stove.” Instead, I wait until I get burned before the lesson sinks in. Simply put: I am overly confident in my ability to resist evil.

Romans 16:17b-18
Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

I don’t consider myself naive, but honestly, am I any better at dodging flattery than anyone else? Flattery is a strong lure for performance-oriented folks like me. We are working so diligently at “getting things done” and long-anticipated approval that we often mistake honeyed words for bona fide appreciation. We can be seduced.

That’s embarrassing, but true.

The best antidote is right here: avoid those people and situations. This advice is really in the same family as “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’m not very good at that one either.

As I contemplate this simple truth, I realize the main element is self-control. If I just stop and “look before I leap,” or “hold my tongue,” or “wait for the Lord;” each of these cliches could manifest a difference. The decision is internal and it’s made in the moment. It requires mindfulness.

Help me step back today and really see; really hear. Help me to breathe in wisdom. Help me to recognize evil intent.

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