40 - Flattery and Complements

Life Lessons with Dr. Steve Schell

21-12-2023 • 43 minutos

Every human being needs encouragement. Many of us are our own worst critic, so a sincere compliment or word of thanks can be like a “cup of cold water” to someone who’s thirsty. Of course, there are people who are proud, but in most cases, I think, much of that is bluff, or if nothing else the passing of time tends to humble even the best of us. Discouragement, self-hatred and shame become the enemies we wrestle with. So when someone speaks positively to us it can have a powerful impact…so powerful that if wielded by the wrong person such words can be used to control us. They can lure us into a strange state of self-deception in which we actually begin to believe what we’re being told. And if someone doesn’t rescue us by confronting us with the truth, it can ruin our personality and take away our effectiveness in serving God. Luke’s account of Herod’s strange death allows us to watch a man fall prey to flattery. For years this man had pretended to be a devout Jew, yet when a crowd of people tell him he is a god, for a few seconds he believes it, for a few seconds he basks in their worship and in that few seconds God’s patience runs out. An angel strikes him and exposes the lie. Admittedly, Herod Agrippa’s death is bizarre, but the forces at play in that amphitheater aren’t. They are all too familiar. We’ve all felt the temptation to believe too much about ourselves, to receive flattery, because we are all in need of encouragement. How we speak to one another is of great concern to God. The Bible has much to say about this topic. So let’s learn from Herod’s example what to avoid, and then let’s learn how God wants us to compliment and honor one another.

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