Why do you think that a Christian would tell another Christian what she/he THOUGHT the other WANTED to hear?
Other= person asking the question (looking for an honest answer)
Speaker= the one giving an answer (that favors himself/herself)
Approaching this question from several angles, I created some scenarios.
It could be that the Speaker wants to gain favor with the Other and give a response that will sound favorable to the other.
Speaking of favorable, there is the possibility that the Speaker FEARS that he/she will give an incorrect or off the mark and be rebuked so answers and tries to give a positive response whether completely accurate or not.
The Speaker might not want to displease the Other by giving an answer that might cause challenge, dispute or extensive discussion on the issue.
Another thought is that perhaps the Speaker does not possess much confidence in his own observations and perceptions and so gives a pallid response to the Other person, a timid answer lacking conviction and probably of little, if any, value.
Trying to gain favor in the Other’s eyes is another possible reason that one gives an answer that he THINKS the other wants to hear whether the Speaker agrees with it or not.
How do some people arrive at these false approaches to communication with one’s family, loved ones, bosses, friends, ministers?
Some of it, I believe, is learned. We observe certain people with whom we have to do. Or we remember our family’s habits and issues. We learn their reactions and responses to stimuli in their lives; what pleases them; what upsets them; how they react when situations arise in their lives and what brings a favorable reaction from them. Children do this sometimes in school. As an example, a Kindergarten or first-grade student notes that the teacher gives praise to another student concerning a correct answer. That little student then tries to repeat that answer to every question the teacher asks because it brought praise when it answered a previous question whether correct or not.
Some people have learned by association what attitudes and responses please certain persons so they might give an answer that will elicit a positive response from the Other .
Another consideration might be that the Speaker cares more about self than the Other person with whom he is supposed to be communicating. It is a total disregard for truth and integrity and saving one’s own ‘neck’ by giving a response that the Speaker thinks the Other wants to hear. This, to my way of thinking, is anti-social communication. It really is lying to the other if in our hearts we are thinking one thing, but fear, pride, intellectual fraud and self absorption come into play, here.
Then there is the proverbial “yes” man. No matter what the situation or circumstance or question the “yes-man” amens everything the ‘Other’ person asks or says whether they agree or not. Sometimes this backfires and the Speaker is caught by his own devices of deceit.
In one way it is an easy way out but on the other hand it is very dangerous to assume or presume to know what the other person WANTS to hear. Just basing it on previous experiences is taking a big chance in clear and true communication and a terrible and dangerous habit to develop.
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg and I hope this will illicit more responses to this question.