A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. (Proverbs 29:5)
Flattery always has a motive behind it. Its purpose is to deceive and win unmerited favor. A compliment on the other hand is to be given with the greatest of sincerity. Its purpose is to recognize a character trait that is honorable and exemplary. Flattery’s motive is always self-serving. As our text so clearly portrays, it “spreads a net for his feet.” If you find yourself being flirtatious, stop, repent of your wickedness and tell the truth in love. That is what a true compliment is, the truth spoken in love. Make sure that your purpose is always for the benefit of another. If what you say is to gain favor deceptively, what you are saying is a lie. Compliment. Tell others when they look good or do a good job, but do so always for the sake of edification-never for the sake of selfish gain. Know or learn the difference between flattery and a genuine compliment.