Proverbs 29:5-6 A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps. By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.
Flattery is defined as: excessive and insincere praise, especially that given to further one’s own interests. From the text in Proverbs it literally means smooth talk.
Flattery is very different than a complement. It is different than an encouraging word. When we flatter others we are saying those things we know to be untrue. In the process we build others up in an unrighteous way.
Our intention matters when we speak to one another. Are we setting a trap from them and eventually for ourselves? Or, are we getting to know one another as individuals that care about and know about each other’s lives?