When He Butters You Up...

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How can you learn to be on guard against seductive words from men with bad intentions?

A couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of the power of a guy's words to melt our hearts—and ultimately—to seduce us. I'd been reading through my old journals and decided to take a break to walk along the lake. I was just nearing the beach when a nicely-dressed guy rolled down his car window and said from his heart, "I know you must hear this all the time, but you're beautiful." (For the record, I don't get that all the time. Not even...often!) 

I wondered to myself how many times he'd used this pick-up line on other women, but he seemed so sincere. He continued convincingly, "It's not just external. There's something different about you—that it factor...

As he continued talking, I wondered, "Could he actually see Jesus in me just by me walking down the street?!" His flattering words caused my walls to drop...a bit. 

Later that evening, I was reminded that this is how the adulteress/adulterer seduces—with words. Check it out in Proverbs 7, and realize that even though this passage talks about a female, guys can do the same thing! 

Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words...With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him...he does not know that it will cost him his life (vv. 4–6, 21, 23 emphasis added).

Over the years, guys' words have played a huge role in worming their way into my thoughts, affections—and sometimes—my arms. Words like: 

"Paula—It's kind of hard to write this, because all I can do is look at you. I can't believe I'm almost out of high school. I've always been in a hurry to get out, but now that I'm with you I want to stay soooo bad..."

"To the sexy and most attractive person sitting by the table (Paula). Happy Valentine's Day, and I hope you gave me seven to ten numbers starting with area code 217." 

These words caused my heart to race in the moment. They made me feel desired and loved. But as I read over them now, they only make me feel cheap. I recognize that they weren't written and said in the language of love, but in the counterfeit language of lust

On the other hand, here are some of the most meaningful words I've received from Christian brothers—sincere words that made me feel like a valued, treasured woman of God: 

"It has been floating around that God has really been at work in and through your life. Not as if that's anything new, people always see evidence of God working through you...

"Thank you for your modesty, Paula. It's such a contrast on this beach." 

"Everyone knows that your legacy is an example of what it means to be a strong woman who fears the Lord. All the other details are unimportant."

How about you? Have you received a compliment from a guy? Could you tell if it was spoken in the language of love or lust? How can you prepare so you don't drop your guard when a guy butters you up with smooth, seductive words?

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