The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. Prov. 12:22
by Toni Birdsong
Let’s just call it what it is: cajolery, flattery, smooth talk, snowing, buttering up, or just good ol’ brown nosing. The truth remains that insincerity (however unintentional) is part of the verbal currency of the digital landscape. And while flattering words can win you friends and fans online, this kind of daily digital banter can be risky business for a Christ follower.
While exaggeration has been part of social hierarchies since the beginning of time, it paints a spiritually destructive layer of duplicity over our hearts. It’s often easy to rationalize the amplification of the truth but, by definition, exaggeration really is lying . . .
Exaggeration: 1. to regard or represent as larger or greater, more important or more successful, than is true.
Truth: 1. fact. 2. sincerity, candor, frankness. 3. precision, exactness.
The bible warns us:
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre;
they flatter with their tongue. – Psalm 5:9
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil,
yet were they drawn swords. -Psalm 55:21
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue… – Psalm 12:3
How to avoid the insincerity trap:
- Stop talking & listen. People will clue you in about what’s important to them. You don’t need to guess by painting on the goo.
- Be truly interested in others. Check your heart for ulterior, selfish motives. Rely on God, not people for your reward or gain.
- Be yourself. Act online the same way you would in person. Relax and trust yourself. You are one-of-a-kind and created by God for specific conversations and appointments in this world. Authenticity attracts; while insincerity puts off.
- Know & grow your heart. Commune, confess, and co-exist with God. Let Him lead the conversations of your day.
- Let your words be few. Don’t over-polish and over-flatter. The truth can stand on it’s own. Trust it. Give compliments, encouragement, and gratitude when due.
- Be content and present. Walk your walk. It’s better to be real and sincere with 10 people than fake and insincere with 10,000.
Do you notice insincerity & exaggeration in the online world? How do you personally keep it real from day-to-day?
Truth gives wings to real relationship. Trust that truth is enough to carry the day. #LiveSticky
If you like this blog, you’ll love the book, @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.