“You are simply the greatest person of all people on the face of this whole Earth! No REALLY!!!”
Fawning in Shakespeare
My favorite Shakespearian saying is from the play Hamlet. It goes like this, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” This is so insightful and has such vast application. But how I wish to apply it here is like this: beware of a man or woman determined to convince you of something that’s not apparent. With much convincing comes much deceit.
I’ve witnessed this quite a bit in my life. And one place I’ve seen it the most prevalent is in the aspect of “love.” When someone’s stumbling over themselves to convince you of the ardent nature of their love, watch out! Fawning is so repulsive because fawning affection is a lie. It smacks of licking and slobbering. If our love is so obscure that we have to flatter to convince others that it’s real, methinks doth protest too much. In the words of John “Shakespeare” Enslow, “The florid words which pass the lips are but a lie to mask deceit.” Nice, huh?! Be sure to tip your waitress.
Being Straightforward Rather Than Fawning
Any more than just straightforward words reveals the source as the devil and produces death! When I’m determined to convince, my heart needs a check-up. More likely than not, I am probably weaving a web of deceit or covering a sour source. A simple yes or no is sufficient to communicate the reality of truth. Flattery, on the other hand, is established to mask a hidden motive.
To his neighbor each one speaks words without use or worth or truth; with flattering lips and double heart [deceitfully] they speak.
Psalm 12:2 AMP
Fawning is not the Same as Effusive
Now, I am not saying that true admiration or love expressed in an effusive way is evil. I can, and do sometimes express my love in flamboyant ways because I am a demonstrative character. But this is not what I am speaking of. We all have probably experienced that over-the-top flattery that feels more like a boa constrictor’s grip than an embrace. It’s the lies of deceit found in flowery words that intend to cover our eyes to the reality.
Checking the Fawning at the Door
If someone’s words are just a bit too exalted, they probably are not real. I’ve been caught by these florid tones before when I wanted them to be true. I wanted the proclaimed affection and love to be real. This can be an Achilles heal. If I really want something for myself and am willing to buy the lie, I can believe it.
Usually the Holy Spirit will check our hearts about flattery, but we’re always able to believe the lie. Just know that the source is always death and eventually will be revealed as a curse. No matter how wonderful it initially makes my ego feel, in time the barbs and scrapes on my soul will be revealed. The words of a liar don’t always come accusing; sometimes they’re sweet.
The flatterer who loudly praises and glorifies his neighbor, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted as cursing him [for he will be suspected of sinister purposes].
Proverbs 27:14 AMP