Wisdom is the key to being delivered from the Seductress, for she has a very skillful weapon:
To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words, – Proverbs 2:16
The first tool that the Seductress has is flattery.
Flattery is a difficult thing to deal with for the main reason that we all like to hear positive things about ourselves. We want to hear praise, that we’re doing things right, that we are the best at something—we desire that attention and that approval. Men, especially, want their ego stroked, whereas women want attention.
Flattery, the tool at the bottom of most marketing campaigns, works at the visceral level, and is often hard to spot because of emotional impact it has on the hearer. This is why it is the primary tactic of the Seductress.
Take a look at how flattery is used in this passage in Proverbs 7:14-15:
“I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you.
With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
To the man hearing this, what he hears is that “I need you, I want you, I specifically sought you you. I could have had anyone, but I wanted you.” He feels special, unique, and his ego is being stroked.
The reality is that she probably chose any available target, and she definitely chose him because of his naivete rather than his virtues. The same as a used car salesman can determine an “easy mark”, the Seductress knows who will be most susceptible to her advances.
The Cure for Flattery
There are two main cures for flattery.
The first is wisdom.
Wisdom will let you understand not only what is being said, but what isn’t being said. Wisdom will let you see through the flattery instead of being taken up in it. Wisdom about what a used car really costs will keep you from believing the inflated price.
The second is humility.
Humility comes from having a right perspective about yourself. Whether it’s your position in front of a Holy Creator God, your position compared to the stars of Heaven, or even your position compared to the others around you—knowing who you are and your place (that you are not really that important) will help keep you from responding to flattery. True humility will keep your self-image in check.
Flee From Flattery
Don’t let it affect you. Don’t believe it. Praise the One who made you, and be wary of anyone that only says positive things about you.