October 7, 2012

Self-Flattery

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 7, 2012

There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. Psalm 36:1b-2

Self-flattery is foolish. It has no fear of God. Self-flattery follows a false faith that is forged out of convenience, not commitment. Self-flattery sees itself as the center of attention instead of Almighty God. It is enamored with itself. It defines and executes its own agenda. It is soft on sin. However, God-fearers see their sin and flee from its presence. It is not invited into their circle of influence. Furthermore, a person who flatters himself has neither a proper view of God nor any respect for Him. Respect for God flows from fear of God but self-flattery demands respect. They need to know that others hold the same high opinion of themselves as they do.

Self-flattery heaps praise on itself in substitute for penance. This is dangerously absurd. Even the silliest bird does not set a trap for itself. Smoothing over our conduct or soothing our conscience may set us up for failure. We can justify anything, but we had better be ready to suffer the consequences. There is a limit to our self-congratulation. Eventually, God and others grow impatient with our obnoxious ways. Our inability to own up to our actions—or lack thereof—lowers our standing with God and man. Self-flattery is a losing proposition. It loses respect instead of gaining respect. It grows discontent instead of being content. It feels worse instead of feeling better. Self-flattery fails.

There are many forms of self-flattery. When we think we are smarter than God, ignoring the principles laid out in His word, we flatter ourselves. When we think we have hope in heaven but we act like hell, we flatter ourselves. When we live for today as if death were a million miles away, we flatter ourselves. When we treat others with contempt, then expect them to follow our ways, we flatter ourselves. When we say we trust in the Lord, but borrow money and presume on the future, we flatter ourselves. Self-flattery longs for approval, but it is denied from those who really matter. There is a better way. The better way rises above self-flattery’s deception. It needs awakening from its slumber, as did the church Jesus spoke about (Revelation 3:17).

The road away from self-flattery is self-denial. Self-denial refrains from flattery. It is determined to know God. It is sensitive to sin and loves the Lord. The fear of God is in the forefront of those who deny themselves for the cause of Christ. Self-denial keeps God in holy awe, keeping self away from unhealthy admiration. It makes much of God and little of self. When we see God we admire Him and cease to flatter ourselves. Knowing God allows us to really know ourselves and discern between the two. The wisdom of God instructs us to place proper weight on what God wants versus what we want. Self-denial sends us into a whole other mindset, away from self-flattery. Its focus is being who God wants us to be and doing what God wants us to do. Self-denial serves others, deferring to them and what they value. It thinks more highly of God and His children. Self-denial replaces self-flattery with faith in God. Faith in God frees us to be secure in Him. Our identity is in Christ. We do not have to impress others or ourselves. He is all that matters. Replace self-flattery with faith in God. Faith in Him energizes an eternal self-esteem.

Taken from Reading #25 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

Post/Tweet this today: Knowing God allows us to really know ourselves. #intimacy

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Comments

  1. John says:

    Boyd, thank you for all you do. Wisdom Hunters has become a spiritual beginning to each of my days. God bless, John

    1. Boyd says:

      Thanks John, I’m honored and humbled to hear that the Lord is using the devotional in your life. In Him – Boyd

  2. Bel says:

    Self flattery can be a positive thing that helps us see the good in ourselves and in our lives. Negative thoughts only bring on depression and self hatred. We needen’t give up God or Gods ways or being spirtiual in order to be self flattering. God wants us to love ourselves so that we can love others. Some people need to stop being so negative annd start saying good things about themselves. It will please God to see people lifting The ugly thoughts they were carrying around about them selves and finally acepting they are worthy. God isn’t against that. It took me a long long time to appreciate my own self. I wouldn’t awant to go back to that girl I used to be. God lifted me out of that by teaching me to use my words of power wisely. To say positive things about myself.

    1. Karen says:

      No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it. It’s just natural for man to take care of himself. That’s just the carnal nature. It takes effort and selflessness to honor God first, and hate sin.

  3. Kathy Asay via Facebook says:

    True, so very true!!!

  4. Karen says:

    So very true. Self denial it really the key to closeness with God. Flattery is ‘false’ by definition, anyway. Thank you for the wisdom.

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