After preaching, some of the best compliments I have received from those who have slept through the message. I get these glowing words on how great the sermon was from somebody who napped through most of it. I guess it is a gift because I have received a ton of those compliments. Jesus tells you to Be careful of those flattering words that people throw at you.
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.”
Tickling the Ears
Jesus continues his discussion on how to react when people talk about you. Here He hits the issue of flattery and compliments. In the Old Testament, people spoke well of the false prophets because they always gave a message of health and prosperity. They didn’t like the real prophets because their messages were calling the idol-worshipping Jews to repent and return to God. Jesus tells the crowd to beware of when all men speak well of you. If that is happening, then you probably aren’t doing anything.
The idol of people’s approval is enormous. Many people worship at the altar of other people’s praise. The sad thing is that any comment that is construed as criticism sends the person into a tailspin. Be careful that you aren’t seeking the praise of men. It is an empty tomb that is never satisfied.
Be Careful of Those Flattering Words
Jesus was able to balance speaking with both truth and grace. He didn’t try to hurt people’s feelings but didn’t shy away from saying what needed to be said. Don’t let your perception of how someone will react prevent you from saying what needs to be said. Just ask the Lord for your speech to be seasoned with grace. A kind word will turn away a whole host of problems.