What is ostentation?

Ostentation is display, pride, vanity. Ostentation is the opposite of humility. Whoever boasts wants to receive glory for himself. The Bible condemns ostentation ( 1 John 2:16 ).

Boasting is showing off to look better in the eyes of other people. A person can boast:

  • Riches and assets
  • Social standing
  • Your capabilities
  • Your actions

It is not wrong to have wealth, abilities, social status and to do good works. The problem is when we think we are more important because of these things. What we have or do does not define our value. A rich and influential person is no more important than a poor or unintelligent person ( James 2: 1 ). God loves everyone equally.

See here: what is humility?

The dangers of ostentation

Boasting has three dangerous consequences:

  • Illusion of self-sufficiency– the person thinks that everything he needs is in him; think you don’t need Jesus, your worth and even your salvation depend on what you do or have
  • Lack of humility– those who boast often do not see or admit their mistakes and flaws
  • Contempt for other people– blind display; one feels superior to others and does not see how precious everyone is to God

See also: according to the Bible what is vanity?

How to enjoy the good things without showing off?

The opposite extreme of ostentation is self-contempt. This is also wrong. Everyone has flaws but not everything is bad. God loves us and gives us good things to enjoy.

In order not to fall into ostentation or in contempt of oneself, it is important to remember that everything good comes from God . “Whoever boasts, let him glory in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:17). When we remember that God gives us everything we have, we are left with a balanced concept of ourselves. It is also important to value others ( Philippians 2: 3-4 ). Whoever sees the value of others is not superior.

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