(Proverbs 26:28 KJV) A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
What is the difference between flattery and a lie?
Sometimes not much. In this verse we have a parallel construction which says that both are evil. Most of us would accept publicly that lying is wrong. In the privacy of our own minds and rationalizations we make excuses but we know they are excuses.
What about flattery? The root for the word is “smooth.” The connotation is slippery not bumpless. Think about waxing a floor and telling no one.
The key is in the verbs. One is based on hate the other on destruction.
So? Obviously watch what you say. Not so obviously, watch your motivation. Are you really telling your wife she looks good in that dress to make her feel good or do you want people to laugh at her?