Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart (Proverbs 26:23, NW).
It is said that Diogenes (412-323 BC), the famous Greek philosopher, was washing some cabbages when he was approached by Aristippus who, seeing the kind of food that was being prepared, said to him in a sarcastic tone: «What is this? Are you preparing your own food?»
«If you ate cabbages for not having another to take to your mouth with dignity, you would not have to flatter the powerful or laugh at their nonsense,» Diogenes answered without even turning around to look at the one speaking to him.
«And you, if you were to learn how to flatter the powerful, you would not have to eat cabbages or walk among the insignificant ones,» said Aristippus with great pride.
Learning how to flatter seems like a good way to acquire favors and good treatment in this world. It is only a matter of pleasing another through words or actions, even if it is a fallacy. For people who have some kind of power or authority, it’s very hard to resist flattery. In fact, sometimes they like to surround themselves with people who usually draw them false panoramas of reality, of course, magnifying the supposed virtues of the object of flattery and avoiding criticism or adverse commentaries. Therefore, flattery cannot exist if there is no one to demand it. But nothing is free. The flatterer expects some sort of reward for his flattery; he flatters in order to bend the will of the one being flattered so that he can manipulate him at his whim.
What can we do in the face of flattery? Ellen White says: «We need to shun everything that would encourage pride and self-sufficiency; therefore, we should beware of giving or receiving flattery or praise. It is Satan’s work to flatter. He deals in flattery as well as in accusing and condemnation. This he seeks to work the ruin of the soul. Those who give praise to men are used by Satan as his agents. Let the workers for Christ direct every word of praise away from themselves. Let self be put out of sight. Christ alone is to be exalted. ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood’ «—Christ’s Object Lessons, ch. 13, pp. 161, 162.
It is not good to be in close company with flattering lips. Their company is not selfless, nor will they lead you to anything good. Nor is it worth making falsehood part of our lifestyle to achieve certain goals. It destroys human dignity.
Today ask Jesus to help you be an integral person in all areas of your life.