Chapter EIGHT: Encourage, Don’t Flatter

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

“…I am very skilled at wielding the clever tool of flattery. It has been said that gossip is saying something behind someone’s back that you would never dare say to their face. However, flattery is the opposite. It is saying something to someone’s face that you would never say behind their back — usually because you don’t really believe it is true.” — Karen Ehman, ‘Keep It Shut: What To Say, How To Say It and When To Say Nothing At All

Flattery. Do you know a flatterer? I do. And I have learned from watching this woman in action two very important things. Number one, people are desperate to be encouraged, complimented and praised. A flatterer will always have an audience. However, the second thing I have learned is that it doesn’t take people very long to sniff out who says things genuinely and who says things just because they sound nice.

For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. — Romans 16:18

When I first read the verse from Romans 16, I was taken back a little by its harshness. A flatterer does not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites? Yikes. A person who serves our Lord Christ must serve Him even with the words that they speak. It is a tall order for us humans. (And if we are honest, an incredibly tall order for us ladies!)

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:11

There are so many ways you can genuinely encourage people – please don’t flatter. Choose words that speak life. Let the words you speak be laced with grace and kindness. And, most importantly – let you words be genuine.

Is there someone who could use some genuine encouragement from you today?