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Proverbs 26:28 meaning...

This verse from the book of Proverbs offers wisdom regarding the destructive power of deceitful speech and flattery. 

  • A Lying Tongue Hates Those It Hurts: 
The verse begins by highlighting the connection between a lying tongue and hatred. It suggests that when someone uses deceitful speech to hurt or deceive others, it stems from a place of ill will or animosity. This truth reminds us that lying not only causes harm to others but also reflects a lack of genuine love and concern for their well-being. It exposes the destructive nature of falsehood and the damage it can inflict on relationships.
  • Flattering Mouth Works Ruin: 
The second part of the verse focuses on the detrimental effects of a flattering mouth. Flattery involves insincere praise or excessive compliments that are intended to manipulate or gain favor. The verse warns that such flattery leads to ruin. It implies that flattery is deceptive, often leading to negative consequences and the deterioration of relationships. Instead of fostering genuine connections, flattery breeds insincerity, manipulation, and a lack of trust.

The theological significance of Proverbs 26:28 lies in its teachings on the destructive nature of deceitful speech and flattery, as well as the call to embrace honesty, love, and authenticity in our communication.

This verse reminds us of the importance of truthfulness and integrity in our words and actions. As followers of God, we are called to reflect His character, which includes being honest and truthful in all our dealings. Deception and flattery go against the nature of God, who is the embodiment of truth and love. Therefore, we should strive to align our words with His truth and avoid the destructive path of lying and flattery.

Furthermore, Proverbs 26:28 highlights the connection between our speech and the well-being of others. It emphasizes the impact our words can have on those around us. Deceitful speech and flattery not only harm others but also reveal a lack of genuine love and concern for their welfare. As believers, we are called to love one another sincerely and to speak words that build up, encourage, and bring life.

Practically, Proverbs 26:28 challenges us to examine our own speech and communication patterns. It prompts us to evaluate whether our words are rooted in truth, honesty, and love, or if they are characterized by deceit or flattery. It reminds us to choose our words wisely, considering their potential impact on others. Instead of using lying or flattery as means of manipulation or self-promotion, we are called to embrace authenticity, honesty, and genuine love in our interactions.

Moreover, this verse serves as a cautionary reminder about the importance of discernment. It urges us to be vigilant and discerning in our relationships, not easily swayed by flattery or deceptive words. By cultivating discernment, we can recognize and avoid the harm that can come from those who seek to deceive or manipulate us.


Scriptural Consistency: Proverbs 26:28 aligns with the broader biblical theme of the importance of truthfulness and sincerity. The Ninth Commandment, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16), emphasizes the gravity of dishonesty. The verse in Proverbs extends this principle by connecting lies with hatred.

Jesus and Truth: Jesus, in his teachings, emphasized the significance of truth. In John 14:6, he declares, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The connection between truth and the Christian faith is foundational. Proverbs 26:28 serves as a practical application of this spiritual truth in our daily interactions.


Ephesians 4:25: "Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are members of one another." This New Testament verse echoes the importance of truthfulness and aligns with the message in Proverbs 26:28.

Proverbs 12:22: "Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh, but those who do the truth are his delight." This cross-reference reinforces the idea that dishonesty is displeasing to God, emphasizing the contrast between lies and the pursuit of truth.

In conclusion, Proverbs 26:28 teaches us about the destructive power of deceitful speech and flattery. It reminds us of the importance of truthfulness, authenticity, and love in our communication. May we strive to speak words that reflect God's truth and love, building up others and fostering genuine connections based on honesty and integrity.

Proverbs 26:28. A lying tongue hates those it hurts; and a flattering mouth works ruin.