Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver. Edmund Burke
Avoid flatterers, for they are thieves in disguise. William Penn
Those that blow smoke have ulterior motives in mind. Randall Burkhalter
Who does not like to receive compliments? Nearly everyone does. Who likes to be flattered? Most do. Who wants to be on the receiving end of someone “blowing smoke?” We do not care for smoke blowers.
It is a good idea to always be aware of what others are saying to us, why they are saying it, and cautious as to what their motives or intentions may be as they say it. They are definitely differences between compliments, flattery, and blowing smoke. Genuine compliments mean someone admires or appreciates us for who we are or for what we have done. Usually they will be honest and sincere in intent. When someone is flattering us, they are beginning to crossover the line that separates sincerity from insincerity and genuineness from other intentions or motives. When someone is blowing smoke, they have definitely and obviously, if not obnoxiously, crossed the line of sincerity to manipulation, deception and questionable intent. It is wise for us to be aware and sensitive to such things. It can save us from some bad experiences, unwise decisions, and difficult situations.
Smoke blowers are dishonest. They are most likely deceitfully trying to get through other’s defensive barriers to get something from them. They want to take advantage or may want to hurt in some way. They are disingenuous in their meaning and should not be believed. They have very questionable intentions and purpose. In the most basic way, smoke blowers are liars. They are trying to appeal to naïveté’s, gullibility, or any other weakness they sense. They are simply conning those that listens to them. They can be stealthy and foxy. Most of us have experienced an encounter with a smoke blower who led us down the primrose path of gullibility. Some of us may have been guilty of blowing smoke ourselves.
Even those that flatter may not have the most sincere and honest motives behind their intent. They may want to impress us because they want to get closer to us by making a good impression or by appealing to our sense of vanity. We are wise to be cautious and suspiciously aware of flatterers and always question their true intentions.
Our common sense, wisdom and life experiences hopefully have prepared us for knowing the differences between compliments, flattery, and smoke. It is wise to err on the side of caution. Better to be safe than sorry.
Challenge: Have you ever been “duped” by the words of someone else? Are you prone to being too easily duped? Are you gullible, too vain, or insecure? Regrettably, there are always those who are out to take advantage of you. Some have a type of sixth sense that causes them to seek out those who are vulnerable. Be aware and cautious. Err on the safe side. When in doubt as to someone’s motives, proceed very slowly and carefully.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17
Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. Psalm 120:2
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free. Proverbs 19:5
Our motive for what we say or do says much about us. Compliments can be said to be an act of love. Flattery has some motive and intention. Blowing smoke can have malice or worse behind it. Anything we say or do not based on love is suspect. The song “What the World Needs Now Is Love” tells us that we need more love. God is the true source of love. God is love. Until we have an understanding of God’s Love we are without true love.
Prayer: Help me to always be sensitive as to my intention and motives. Help me to have a loving spirit.