Many years ago, I was counseled that “yes men” will take you down. As a result of that counsel, I have sought to surround myself with people in my story who would not mind telling me the truth. I’ve tried to make it easy for them to do that. I admit it is not always fun, but it is painfully necessary. The point Solomon makes in this verse is that if those around you discover that you want flattery, true or not, they will shape their message to be flattering whether or not it is deserved. You essentially turn those around you into liars and deceivers; their message may feel good, but it will undermine your character and life as well as theirs. Dishonesty breeds a culture of dishonesty. I have recently observed a ministry undermined by a few well-placed deceptions that encouraged and even helped manufacture more. In the end, destruction can be seen approaching on the horizon. Today, be gently but clearly honest. That is the model of our Savior.
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” Ephesians 4:15 NASB