Psalm 36:1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
The Devil is both very subtle and sly. He knows that being patient in his attacks against the truth can result in his ultimate victory as he wears down the saints. One of his primary objectives involves a close alliance between the self-help theology crowd and the use of flattery. Those caught up in this type of theology overemphasize the need to develop self-confidence rather than developing a God-confidence. These power of positive thinking proponents teach their followers to think positively of themselves even if those thoughts are unwarranted. Yet, the Bible offers a completely different perspective. According to scripture, the wicked “flattereth himself in his own eyes” (Psalm 36:2) and this self-flattery is “transgression” (Psalm 36:1). On the other hand, the faithful Christian realizes that “at his very best state he is altogether vanity” (Psalm 39:5). Christians need their self-confidence replaced with a greater confidence and trust in the Lord.
- (For children): Peter was very sure that he would stay true to the Lord even unto death. But Jesus knew Peter’s heart (Matthew 26:33-35) and that he would miserably fail (Galatians 6:3). We need to always depend upon the Lord for help even when we might think we can do something on our own.
- (For everyone): What are some areas where the world encourages us to flatter ourselves? What godly benefit do we gain from following their instructions?
- How can self-flattery be used as “a cloke of covetousness” (1 Thessalonians 2:5)? How can flattery ultimately be connected back to the sin of pride?
- Ask the Lord to build your confidence in Him.
- Ask God to help you see the reality of who and what you are.