For Goodness Sake#1. “Be careful little Ears what you hear!”

For Goodness Sake#1. “Be careful little Ears what you hear!”

“He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favour than he who flatters with the tongue” (Proverbs 28:23).

Why are we so easily caught in the flatterer’s trap? Is it because, despite its obvious tackiness (to everyone but us), flattery actually makes us feel shiny?

And who doesn’t want to feel shiny? Given the amount of negativity around us on any given day, any appreciation seems better than none…until that is!

Flattery never carries caveats. It is the effusions of a seemingly dedicated fan who has only good things to say about you—no matter the content or quality of your offerings. Indeed, flatterers need not even know you to rank, in your estimation, amongst the finest of humanity.

I know I am painting a portrait of a person caught in the shallows of vanity, but it is an accurate one.

The difference between flattery and genuine appreciation may not be as easily discernible as we think. But discern it you must.

Flatterers are best characterised as people wanting something from you, as opposed to those of goodwill who want something for you. The latter may, or may not, show equal enthusiasm, but their motives are always pure.

Those who want you to do well in the Lord will both praise you and rebuke you. The praise portion is eagerly imbibed, but the rebuke component is not so easily embraced.

Thus, a balanced diet of appropriate praise and caring critique is a sign of healthy growing relationships in the church.

But when our egos cause us to see ourselves as deserving of greater deference, it is horrifying to realise how much we will compromise our faith for a compliment:

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3)

Yes, the Father up above is looking down in love, so, be careful little ears what you hear.

John Staiger


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