5 ¶ A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
There have been several warnings against flattery in Proverbs, particularly that one should look out for it and not be deceived when someone tries to get an advantage over us with it.
Proverbs 2:16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
Proverbs 6:24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Proverbs 7:5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
Proverbs 7:21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
Proverbs 20:19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
The person who flatters you, who pumps you up, pays undue attention to you, and exaggerates your better traits is after something. He or she is laying a trap for you. People in authority are prone to have people flatter them to gain some advantage. Many a powerful man has been knocked out of his place by his own lust and the attentions of a young woman. People who know where they are going, though, and what their purpose here on earth is are not so prone to being found the victims of their own weakness for self worship and the flattery of another.
When someone knows what is in man as Jesus did spoken of in John 2:25 and when someone knows the condition of the human heart as in Jeremiah 17:9 then the flatterer will have a frustratingly difficult time with him or her. However, the fact is that if certain people ever change their religion it will be because they no longer think they’re God. Those kinds of weak people, even in positions of power and authority, are susceptible to the damaging flattery of someone, particularly those who seek to entrap them.
Young women are notoriously susceptible to the kind of flattery from men designed to overthrow them and bring them to ruin. Fawning words and unnecessary attention to your appearance or even your character can and often are a thinly disguised attempt to put you in a vulnerable place where you can be taken advantage of. I know you crave to hear someone remark that you’re pretty, or smart, or really nice but beware of men, young or old, who do that. Rather than receiving a compliment you may be victim of someone who wants to steal your pride from you. Of course, if you know what the human heart‘s condition is and what is in man you will not be so easily manipulated.
Beware of flattery and flatterers.