Thought for Today


Proverbs regarding adulation, complimenting excessively, false praise, flattery, grovelling, honeyed words, sweet talk, etc.

Excessively complimenting sombody is occasionally given with a positive intent, but such false praise is usually for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject.

With these proverbs, we see how a blessing becomes a curse. The flatterer has already deceived or is about to deceive. Wise people are not moved by flattery, nor do they dispense flattery to themselves or others.

Adulation and applause can be subtle forms of flattery. More open flattery includes sycophancy, bootlicking (or licking something else!) and toadyism.

'Toadyism' originates from the 17th century, when a charlatan would miraculously cure his assistant who had swallowed poison. The audience would be informed the assistant was eating a poisonous toad (perhaps actually blackened bread shaped like a toad) pretend to suffer a seizure, and then be cured by the master's magic powers. Today, so-called magic powers are infused into talismans such as the Healing Cross and the Cross of Hope.

The terms 'sweet talk' and 'honeyed words' originate from Prov. 5:3

  1. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her seductive words are smoother than olive oil,
    but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

    Prov. 5:3-4 (read whole chapter)

  2. Come, let's drink deeply of lovemaking until morning, let's delight ourselves with sexual intercourse.
    For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a journey of some distance.
    He has taken a bag of money with him; he will not return until the end of the month."
    She persuaded him with persuasive words; with her smooth talk she compelled him.

    Prov. 7:18-21 (read whole chapter)

  3. The one who goes about gossiping reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with someone who is always opening his mouth.

    Prov. 20:19 (read whole chapter)

  4. If someone blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse to him.

    Prov. 27:14 (read whole chapter)


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