Proverbs 27: King James Bible
Prideful Flattery – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty seven, Verse 14
14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – Prideful Flattery
This is a verse where you really need to give it some thought, before continuing on to the next verse. At least that’s how it worked for me, because it doesn’t seem like there’s any wrongdoing going on here.
I called this devotional “Prideful Flattery,” because the details that the Lord provided for us in this verse, paint the picture of how a blessing can be counted as a curse. Details such as “with a loud voice,” and also “rising early in the morning,” to do so. These details give us a glimpse into something weird transpiring with the intentions of the person so anxious to give a blessing.
It appears that the person seeking to give the blessing, is attempting to cause a scene rather than simply blessing his friend. I’m reminded of what Jesus said about the Pharisees that would make a public display of everything “Godly” that they’d partake in, in order to gain the affection of men rather than God. I just squeezed a ton of verses to make that quick paraphrase, I’ll include the scriptures for all that down below.
Gaining attention appears to be every bit as important, perhaps even more so, than it is to be giving the blessing to his friend. This to me is a stab at vain glory being camouflaged as giving a blessing. Premeditating the scenario, waking up early in the morning because it’s that important to get you at the right place and time, and declaring it loud enough that others around will certainly hear everything he’s got to say.
That doesn’t sound like the behavior of someone who genuinely wants to bless his friend does it? This goes to show us that anything at all can be twisted into a sin, even blessing someone. It’s all what goes on in the heart, is what determines whether or not we’re doing something out of a pure heart with the best of intentions, or through impure intentions spiraling forth from harbored iniquities.
As Pastor Paul Begley would say: “But wait! There’s more!”
There is no direction in this verse that requires us to strictly focus our attention on the friend that is being obnoxious in their behavior. What about the person being blessed? What if that person is good with this public display? That would tell us a little bit about the person wouldn’t it?
At least those who are observing would think it weird in the least. The picture in my mind of what I’m talking about, is from a movie that I saw in the early 90’s called Wayne’s World.
In that movie, there is a scene where the two main characters (Wayne and Garth) fall on their knees in front of Alice Cooper, bowing repeatedly chanting “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” Instead of rebuking the two and telling them to knock it off, he sticks out his hand as the pope or royalty would, and allowed them to kiss the ring. It’s actually one of the only memorable scenes from the movie, as it was a pretty funny scenario.
But the attitude of receiving that kind of praise or blessing so proudly, is what I’m trying to point out through that scene. Anyone else who was in the room, if it were something that would happen in real life, would be rolling their eyes at the very least, or gagging over the inflated pomp.
From that aspect, the one who is receiving the blessing is revealing a sense of pride or vain glory. Doing so in a manner which is seen by anyone within earshot. This winds up being counted as a curse.
The pendulum swings both ways in the verse above. Either way, it is the condition of the heart, and the intentions on display that make the difference. We can do what is good for all the wrong reasons, and it is seen as more of a curse than if we did wrong for all the right reasons.
If we strive to covet the fruit of the Spirit of the Living God in love and in truth, we’ll not have this problem. When we don’t, our intentions may be tainted, and viewed as such.
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 23: King James Bible
1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Matthew 23: King James Bible
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Matthew 23: King James Bible
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Thank you for this verse, and for the depth of the meaning behind it. Help us to avoid all of the things that you warn us against, including doing good things with bad intentions. Help us to do right with right intentions, and lead us through your Holy Spirit. You tell us to give credit where it is due, and may we do so in a manner that benefits the person we bless, rather than cause for it to be a benefit to ourselves. This we pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever been somewhat humiliated by being on the receiving end of prideful flattery?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 28 P. 450 – Ignore the Poor
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 10 P.97 – Wise in Heart
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 26 P. 399 – Proverb in the Mouth of Fools
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 23 P. 345 – An Evil Eye
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 26 P. 396 – Curse or Consequences