Prov. 28:23 In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.
Flattery makes us feel good, for a little while. Everyone likes to have their ego stroked. We all want to be noticed and appreciated. We are geared to being liked. Some will go out of their way to be liked. Some will do drastic things in order to be liked. Some will even impose evil things on others in order to make themselves feel important in the eyes of others. Some people crave flattery so much that they are driven to portray a persona that they are not in order to be looked up.
However, no matter how much flattery a person may receive, it doesn’t last. No one always does things that are worthy of flattery. No one is so good all the time that others can sing their praises. In fact, feasting on flattery is damaging to the soul. It makes us feel good, but it cannot make us good. When all we hear is flattery, it goes to our heads. We get the delusional idea that what we hear is who we are. Away from the limelight, we know that we are not always what others seem to believe about us.
Frankness is far more beneficial to us than flattery. When others will tell us the truth about us, we can help ourselves to change. Frankness is needed. Everyone needs to be surrounded by people who are not impressed by them and are willing to honestly tell them what others either don’t see or won’t tell.
Being frank with someone is good, but it should always be done with love. The Lord wants us to help one another to grow and become instead of tearing each other down by the things we say or the way we say them. Whenever you are inclined to be frank with someone, pray before you speak. You should care enough to speak out when it is needed, but you should always do it with the desire to help and not hinder a person.
And, when someone is loving enough to be frank with us, we should accept the truth with grace and love. We should never be so proud to think that we don’t need to be corrected and helped. We should never think of ourselves in a flattery, but false, way. We should accept what we hear with welcome hearts and ask the Lord to help us to do and be better children of God.