Flattery – Don’t Feed the Bears

By Chris Layton

December 12, 2019

Aren’t they some of the most magnificent animals? I mean there is nothing like watching a giant Kodiak bear pull a salmon out of the river. They are absolutely awesome to watch. Big powerful paws the size of the face of a man with claws that can rip up a tree. Of all of God’s creatures these are nothing to play with. They are best left to observe from a distance but here is the problem, they are so cute and fuzzy looking that people will lure them in and feed them people food when the diet they naturally thrive on is bugs berries and fish. To the bears they would just assume taking the path of least resistance so if someone wants to give them a handout, they’re going to take it.

The park rangers dread this for good reason: They come back and they get closer but they are wild animals. They’re not domesticated like your cats and dogs. If you leave your trash outside they will come range through it strewing your garbage all over the place. Now if you happen to be nearby sleeping in a tent, there’s nothing that will stop that living nightmare from inside your flimsy shelter. Then the park ranger has to eventually come and shoot the bear because they now pose a present threat to public safety in the park. All of this is such an unnecessary waste so please don’t feed the bears.

People are no different. They also will take the easy way out if given the opportunity. There is nothing people like more than something sweet and too much of it is not good for them. It’s intoxicating and detrimental but people love it.

Flattery is defined as “excessive and insincere praise given to further one’s own interests.”

Flattery is rooted in deception because it causes one to let their guard down, to have the feeling that everything with them is good when it really isn’t, that they are safe when in reality they are in peril. Pastors who hold people captive in their sins out of fear of offending them do not have the pure love of Christ.

To tell the truth is the pure love of Christ even if it is a rebuke.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” Proverbs 1:7

“For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires.” 2 Timothy 4:3

“They say to the seers, “No more visions,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us the truth. Speak to us pleasant words; prophesy illusions.” Isaiah 30:10

The modern day church doesn’t want what is good for them, the truth. To the wicked the truth is hard to take so rather than seeking to repent and return to God, they are looking for smooth words from pastors more interested in telling them what they want to hear rather than what they should hear. That’s not love, that’s negligence, following a blind guide.

The things that cause one to repent and turn back to God does cause pain and anguish in the sinner which is meant to purge and heal them. Today most are offended easily and they become so angry that they refuse to listen to God’s messengers He sends to warn the church. The people in the church in Alma’s day also became angry with him when he ministered to them with the power of the word of God.

It’s no different today because most are not searching for the word of God but rather depending on someone else to do it for them. They want to take the path of least resistance but their thinking is all wrong. They’re doing wrong things, going the wrong way. Soon enough they will have left themselves in such a path of destruction that God has to eventually send Angels to put an end to it. Sometimes it may even cost them their lives.

“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Ezekiel 33:11

And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.

“And in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people.
And the people saw it, and did witness of it, and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles, in the sight of the people, in the name of Jesus.”
3 Nephi 7:18-20