When there is a motive behind it or the one giving it is looking for your affection, the compliment can be flattery. Flattery is insincere praise. We soon feel uncomfortable when we experience this for too long. But we do treasure sincerity. To be praised in this way is a reflection of something we have earned.
Proverbs 7:21-23 Proverbs 7:21-23 21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
22 He goes after her straightway, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, and knows not that it is for his life.
American King James Version×cites a woman who entices with flattering lips. Recognition of the motive will help us respond as we should. When we are strong, we do not need flattery; but the ploy has been successful for centuries. Insincere praise in the long run brings us pain. We, too, could have an arrow in our liver. Watch out for those who have words we like to hear—but who do not mean it.