One of the definitions of a compliment is “delicate flattery.” We appreciate compliments that are given in sincerity and with no hidden motives, but they often make us feel uncomfortable because we are not certain they are genuine. Human interaction can sometimes be complicated. There are times when we want to tell the truth to a friend, or what we perceive to be the truth. That can be costly because we can lose a friend. Still, the wounds of a friend are a true showing of love. Choosing our words and comments carefully is important. A faithful friend may compliment you in truth, but he will also risk your friendship by being honest with you. An enemy who really does not care will not hesitate to flatter or be deceitful (Proverbs 27:5-6). “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
Flattery is a form of false love that does not actually show care about the person to whom it is directed. The motive for flattery is usually an attempt to gain something. It may bring ruin to someone else, but that is not the concern of the flatterer. We are often prone to flattery because we want to feel loved and respected. An honest friend will love and respect you without the flattery.