Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flirting, Revisited

This and another post on the same topic are merely reflections on a personal conviction.

I am laid up today, recovering from a migraine (booooo - haven't had one in awhile - yuck).

I have been sitting at my computer, waiting to hear back (or read back in the form of an email) from my colleagues about missing work today. And yes, I realize that sitting in front of a computer with a migraine isn't the best thing to do. But as I was waiting, I decided to do a biblegateway.com word search on 'flatter.' Let me explain why:

I had a conversation a few weeks ago with two guy friends about flirting. Then they both went on to say that guy's need a girl to flirt with them, in order to know if they should ask them out. As in, they need to know if the girl likes them, and flirting obviously answers that question. One guy did note that this doesn't include the 'batting of eyelashes,' although I'm not sure what it does mean to him. And I didn't ask. My bad. Well, to be fair, he did say that the girl needs to show interest in the conversation. I just can't help but wonder what that looks like. But what I didn't try to get across to them at the time (my bad again), is that just because a girl is showing interest doesn't always mean she's interested. Or at least for the right reasons. She may be more interested in getting married to anyone than in the particular guy she is talking to.

And it's so funny, because I wrote about this a few months ago, which can be read here: Flirting=Harmless? To summarize, my answer to this question is NO. I'd even venture to say that it is harmful. But even bringing up Proverbs 7 couldn't dissuade these guys. And what's a girl to do? Let it go. That's what this girl did. Because honestly, I'm not going to flirt or flatter. And I'm not going to be attracted to a guy who wants that from a girl. Wisdom vs. Folly, and all that.

(Flattery defined: insincere or excessive praise. Flirting defined: to show superficial or casual interest or liking. I do want to note that flattery goes beyond flirting in the "normal" guy/girl sense.)

Psalm 12
For the director of music. According to sheminith. A psalm of David.

1 Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.

3 May the LORD silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the LORD.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the LORD are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.

7 You, LORD, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.

Psalm 78 (excerpt)

A maskil of Asaph.

35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful;
he forgave their iniquities
and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
and did not stir up his full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
a passing breeze that does not return.

Proverbs 26 (excerpt)

18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips,
but in their hearts they harbor deceit.
25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them,
for seven abominations fill their hearts.
26 Their malice may be concealed by deception,
but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;
if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 28:23

Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor

rather than one who has a flattering tongue.

Proverbs 29 (excerpt)

5 Those who flatter their neighbors
are spreading nets for their feet.

6 Evildoers are snared by their own sin,
but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

Romans 16

17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

NOTE: Flattery=bad. Wisdom=good. Compare Proverbs 1-7 and 31.

Dear Heavenly Father,

In the end, I want to be wise not foolish, innocent not evil, wise about what is good. I want to trust only You and be faithful to You. I want a man to be attracted to that which you have worked in me and to that which you are working out in me, through the power of your son Jesus Christ, the work You have promised to do to completion. I am in Christ. Help me to remember that. I do not need to flatter or flirt or attempt to put myself in situations, because You are Sovereign. And I trust You. Lord, help me trust You more. Help me not be discouraged by those that make me doubt for a second that doing things on my own strength is better than trusting in You and in Your will for my life. You have shown me in countless ways how You work, and all without my supposed "help."

Lord, please help me make my speech be out of the overflow of my heart. Please help me to speak with wisdom and let faithful instruction always be on my tongue. Not empty words or meaningless praise. But let my words be ones that honor You in all that I do, in every situation. Let my words demonstrate my trust in You. And if any of that is possible, it is through Your Holy Spirit. I praise You and thank You for Him. It's in Your precious Son's name that I pray, Amen.

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