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Flattering Titles (Job 32:21-22)

Introductory Thoughts

The Book of Job primarily focuses on the conversations between Job and his three friends. The content of many of their speeches seems to lack the expected wisdom until a younger man named Elihu takes the opportunity to speak. His words were packed with wisdom. One of the areas he addressed concerned giving flattering titles to men. Elihu declared that it was sinful to give men flattering titles and that he knew better than to do so. Keep in mind that flattery is based upon deceit and is never favourable. By refusing to give flattering titles to men, Elihu chose not to say anything concerning others simply to gain an advantage for himself. Elihu knew that God would bring this type of flattery into judgment.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): The people at Lystra called Paul and Barnabas gods because Paul had healed a crippled man. Read how Paul and Barnabas reacted to that flattery in Acts 14:14-15. On the other hand, read how wicked king Herod allowed the people to call him a god. What happened to him (Acts 12:21-23)?
  • (For everyone):  What are some flattering titles that men bestow upon others? Additionally, what are some flattering titles given by men to men in religious circles, i.e., reverend (Psalm 111:9) and father (Matthew 23:9)?
  • Why should we refuse to use flattering titles to address men? What are some of the things that can happen by refusing to express this type of flattery? How are others harmed by recognizing them with such flattering titles?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to show you the danger of flattering titles.
  • Ask God to give you wisdom to avoid flattery.