1 Thessalonians 2
1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.
Flattery (also called adulation or blandishment) is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject.
It is good to say nice things about people. Paying someone a genuine compliment is not as popular as in the past. I think it is hard to accept compliments. But, it's even harder to take flattery. Flattery takes a compliment to a different level. Compliments are always nice. But compliments lose their value the more you get. I always get suspicious of someone who goes overboard saying nice things about me. The reason is simple. I'm a sinner. I'm not that great a person. So, either the person dishing out the flattery doesn't really know me or they're just doing so for their own gain.
Paul had a tough time sharing the gospel message. People were suspicious of the message. It was new and unique. The early apostles of Christ had to be careful to be as genuine as possible. People then and people now can see through the "fluff". Their motives were questioned constantly. It's not much different than today. The message of Christ today gets quite a bit of bad publicity. So, when people here the message, they are cautious. We need to make sure we follow the early christian example. We need to be persistent, accurate, pure in motive, honest, open, unselfish, and innocent as children. We need to follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit. We need to be humble and constantly realize WE ARE SINNERS! Remember God is your witness. He is with you every time you share the message. He is looking for a pure heart with pure motives. The message doesn't need to be sweetened to make it great. Persistence and a pure heart committed to the Lord is all you need.