Spreading a net


In The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 29 Verse 5 states;
The man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net under his feet.
Please explain.


I would say, when you flatter your neighbor you are puffing him up. You’re (potentially) building his ego and pride. This becomes a net that willl trap him later because he will believe he is better than he is, and this is the quickest way to fall into sin.

In this case, “flattery” means exaggerated, undeserved, insincere praise. It’s saying more good and positive about the person than we should - especially in order to manipulate the person, to get them to praise us in return, for example.

It’s not when we have a good, modest, truthful comment about someone. That is good and important praise we can offer. But flattery, in the Proverbs sense, is a sin of manipulating someone’s emotions and trying to get them to believe you think they’re much better than they are.

So then also, we’re “spreading a net” when we do this. But the person who gets the flattery can avoid the net by not believing the empty praise and staying humble. Usually this means by stopping the person from flattering them.


Well said. :thumbsup:


Thank you :slight_smile:


There’s also a flip-side to the coin.

Instead of being puffed up and properly remaining humble, the person being “flattered” may get passive-aggressive and not know how to express it properly, i.e., internally be saying “please shut up”, or “man, this guy’s an idiot”, or to feel embarrassment out of the respect for an other’s propensity toward envy if the flattery is performed within a social situation, yet there may be an unwillingness to respond verbally out of “respect” or timidity during the more immature – less steadfast – years. If this were to be prolonged for extended periods of time, it would have a negative impact on such a one, yet it also provides a potential situation for the person to become very direct and to counter with a more perfect response, as with most adversity.


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