Luke – Dec. 19

Flattery

Read Luke 20:19-21

The greeting of these spies in v. 21 wasn’t sincere. They were there to trap Jesus in His words. Their goal was to either turn the people against Jesus (if He said they ought to pay their taxes) or to secure something from His lips they could take to the Romans if He said they ought not pay them. They thought by opening with compliments, it would fool Jesus into thinking they were admirers.

Of course, He wasn’t fooled. Trying to fool God is foolish.

Beware flattery! That’s a repeated warning in Proverbs. Not only ought we refuse being on the receiving end of flattery, we ought not dispense it. A good test before complimenting another is to ask WHY we’re giving it. If it’s meant to encourage and affirm, great, go for it. But if the goal of a compliment is selfish, to advance a personal interest, forget it.

Compliments are like perfume; enjoy a brief whiff, but don’t drink it.