Proverbs 7:6-27 tells the story of a young man who was enticed to have an affair because he did not filter the flattery of the woman who seduced him. He wanted what she said to be true so he fell for her smooth talk. Verse 21 states, “So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.” In this young man’s case the unintended consequence was a devastating affair. We often think that affairs begin with the eyes or even the heart, but this passage shows us that they begin with the ears. We like to hear flattering things about ourselves. Praise and criticism both can be devastating when we do not filter them through the truth of God’s Word.
I hope you will take a minute to read Proverbs 7:6-27 today. It will serve as a warning to each of us not to allow flattery to throw us off our game. Here are a few unintended consequences of unfiltered flattery:
When we receive unfiltered flattery we will usually begin to believe it. When we begin to believe it we become dissatisfied with our current circumstances. A discontented heart is a sure path to ruin. When we allow ourselves to be discontented we eventually begin to act out in ways that are destructive.
- Unprotected mind
Your mind is vulnerable if you don’t guard it. Whenever we do not filter flattery through the truth of the Bible we expose our minds to unnecessary danger. Guard your mind by using “God’s truth meter.”
- Emotional vulnerability
Flattery can be so emotionally delicious. It is like the poison fruit that tastes wonderful up until we realize that it is killing us. The Bible says to “guard your heart.” One reason that unfiltered flattery is so dangerous is because it feels so good.
- Overwhelming temptation
In this story the young, foolish man had a destructive affair. He fell to temptation because he had no filter, no barriers, and no pre-determined convictions. You never decide your convictions or your actions in the middle of temptation. You must decide ahead of time. That is the only way you can overcome temptation. God has promised to be with us and help us through temptation but we must trust him and decide our actions ahead of time.
- Unrealistic expectations
So many people live in a fantasy world of unrealistic expectations. We normally overestimate how good we are and underestimate our capacity for failure. Setting unrealistic expectations in marriage is a surefire path to divorce.
- Destructive future
As with all sin, it takes us further than we intended to go and it costs far more than we expected to pay. Solomon used words like death, the grave, and slaughter to describe the reality this young man faced because of his actions.
So be warned and guard yourself. Use the flattery filter of God’s truth today!