Is wanting to show off sinful?

For example, getting a new car (or house, shoes, etc.) and wanting to show it off to friends and family.

Doesn’t your church say it’s one of the seven deadly sins?

Personally, I think it’s human nature, but I don’t like to show off anything, and if I slip up and DO brag or show off something/an accomplishment, I really feel terrible.

Funny, sometimes I even feel bad when I start telling people about my child’s accomplishments, but I want him to be proud of what he’s done…hum. That seems to be somewhat of a fine line for me. I’ll praise my child personally, but I won’t carry on to everyone and his brother about my son…what’s he’s done, etc…

I even have problems when someone compliments me, I feel like attention’s being drawn to me, usually for the wrong reasons, but that’s just me.

I do not like to brag about any material things I have, especially. I consider that the height of vanity, and that really annoys me no end.

Now…if-hum, someone says to me, hey, nice shoes…I’ll just say oh, thanks, and deflect the compliment by telling them where I got said item, and where they can get it if they like it. I bet I annoy people when I do that…

Sharing your joy over some material blessing is not nearly as sinister as thinking that having bought that new car makes you better than someone else.


It can be quite simply sharing with others the cool new thing…

I think it boils down to intention.

Is your intention in “showing off” the new thing “Hahah, I have this new car and you don’t, you poor loser!” or is it “I have this new car, woudl you like to ride in it with me, you can borrow it whenever you please, you’re my friend”?

As others have implied, no sin in wanting to share what you have.

If you were poor and had nothing at all and by the grace of God you have something today and will like to show it to friends and family and tell them what God has done for you, then there is nothing wrong with that. However, as Baltobetsy said, if you are showing off just to feel and look better than others then it becomes a great sin.

hmmmm. well the reason I ask is that I have a car that I got a year ago that I think is very nice and that I really like a lot. To be honest, I like driving it places and I like people seeing me in it because it is really nice and it’s just so cool! I don’t think I’m better than anyone else when I’m in it, I guess I just like the feeling of being so fortunate to drive such a nice car. Is this bad?

Oh, and what if you have something nice (like a car,shoes,whatever) and you use it, not because you want to show off, but because it’s the only car/shoes you have - but as a result of driving it, you “feel better” than other people. Your intention is not to feel superior, but as a result of your using it then this feeling comes up. What then?

If you have it, or if you can do it, it’s not really bragging.

(Unless you’re rubbing someone’s nose in in it…)

I own a nice, shiny red Mustang convertible that I have occasionally entered in a car show. It’s simply an exhibition of my years of hard work and diligence for others to enjoy. No a ting wrong with that.

That’s how I see it. My friend and I are both fountain pen aficionados and we love to display and discuss ‘the latest.’

I think there is a differance in SHOWING OFF and waiting to be complimented. For example…I just moved into a new house. My previous home was way to small for our large family (we have 4 kids) and now we have a house that has over 1K sqft more than we had. Is my new home beautiful??? yes, Id say so. Ive had so many compliments from my friends who have dropped by so they can see the house. I did have a house warming party as well, but not to show off and sayd “neaner neaner neaner…Lookie what I have?” No, I had the party so I could entertain my friends here and see them happy. They asked if they could look around and I said go ahead and feel free.

Same thing for a car. When we bought a new surburban 2 years ago ( we still have that same surburban and it isnt brand new, it was a used car but new to us) we didnt go to friends houses and say “LOOK WHAT I BOUGHT” or even family memebers. Whenever we went anywhere to anyones house it was always “OH YOU HAVE A NEW TRUCK! You didnt tell me that?!” and we are like “yeah well it was time to upgrade” they compliment. I think it all comes down to being humble about things. I always tell my girls…there is no need to brag or show off. Everything you have right now could be taken away from you in a blink of and eye. So be humble so karma doesnt catch up with you!

It’s sinful, but I also think in a lot of cases it’s a sort of innocent vanity rather than intentional pride. I also think that with time the novelty will wear off. In five years the car will not be quite so new.

It will be a problem if it becomes a habit, so that it becomes a drive for replacement luxuries to “show off”. That would be pride.

In the end, only you really know your motive.

Finally, what’s really important in your life? God or your car? Rest assured, if He thinks it’s getting in the way, He could well remove it eg. accident or theft. He’s a jealous God.


Showing someone your new car is sinful? And God will take it away from you?

When? Is it an immediate cause\effect?

What about all those people we regret to see in the headlines who behave in a most un-humble and un-Godly manner? What will God take away from them, and do you have a timeline for when He will do it?

I guess we really SHOULD fear God.

If you’re blessed with material things that’s good. All gifts are from God. When it becomes a problem, I feel, is when a person begins to covet. Also, a person needs to ask “am I being a good steward of His gifts?” Peace to all! :thumbsup:

Bob, I have a problem accepting the stuff I highlighted in red. Maybe our idiomatic language differences are getting in the way, but I don’t believe that pride in one’s accomplishments (being able to finally afford a new car, etc.) are necessarily sinful, unless you try to rub it in someone’s nose. And God isn’t “jealous” of anything, since He created it all to begin with…

However, regarding the part I highlighted in green, I totally agree with your assessment. :thumbsup:

I’m thinking of kids—the way they want to show you everything they have, and the way their faces light up when you even make the slightest comment, like, ‘Oh, what a nice color,’ and I can’t find anything sinful in that.

The opposite is hiding everything from sight, hoarding, not letting others see your ‘stuff,’ which I don’t think is all that healthy either.

If you share an interest with someone, why not share your ‘stuff?’

Judgement starts with the House of the Lord. As a Christian, I think God tends to be harsher on us than on non-Christians if we fail HIm in some way, at least in this life. He corrects us, whereas non-believers often seem to be allowed to get away with it, or the warning has no effect.

The issue as to whether “showing off” is sinful will depend on context, and the only one who can really judge a person’s motives are God and the person themselves.

I will relate one story however, although it’s a bit off topic. I had an old pastor who once told me he felt guilty about warning a young bloke in his congregation about the way he was riding his new motorcycle. He was clearly riding it stupidly and dangerously, which is a form of “showing off”. Thet was obvious to everyone, not just the pastor.

The wording he used was “If you don’t start ridiing your bike more carefully, you wan’t last two weeks!” He merely meant it as an warning, and not a literal period of time. But he said he tended to find that what he said happened, and he buried the young bloke precisely two weeks later. That was why he felt guilty - he said he wished he’d used some other wording.

But the fact remains God had given the young bloke a warning via the pastor. He ignored it. He didn’t just lose his motor bike. He lost his life.

Now I’m not suggesting for a minute that this is anywhere near the setting in this post, which seems to me to be more about personal vanity in relation to a new car. But the same principle applies. ***If ***God thinks the car is a barrier in the relationship, He may well remove it.

And you know for a fact this was actual cause/effect.

And you equate unsafe driving with showing a neighbor a new possession merely from a sense of happiness.

And of course showing a neighbor your new car is sinful and God will strike you dead. You sound much like abusive parents who will tell their child God will strike them down for spilling milk—yet fail to teach anything about God’s love.

I’ve bought new things in the past. I’ve shown them off to my friends. I’ve done so in the manner of “look at this, isn’t it lovely?” and asked my friends to share in my new found excitement and joy.

A friend of mine recently bought himself an extension (for want of a more complicated explanation) to his house so that he could have more space to conduct his business. He invited me round to take a look because he was excited about the new opportunities this afforded him in his work. He shared with me his excitement. I was excited with him and for him because of the good that this new purchase had brought into his life and because of his renewed happiness and optimism.

It is not intrinsically sinful to show new things off. At no stage have either I or anyone I know ever bought anything in order to rub someone else’s nose in it and make them feel down. THAT would be pride. THAT would be sinful because the effect on others would be negative.

We live in a world that WAS, IS and hopefully will continue to remain so because God wills it so. Therefore everything in the world is a gift from Him. It is only right to celebrate the wonders around us, either natural or man-made. It is only right to enfold others into our joy (provided they want to be, of course!).

Don’t forget Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who anointed Jesus with purest Nard - a perfumed aromatic oil in quantities such that it would have taken an average worker a year’s wages to purchase. She shared with Jesus the beauty of something incredibly expensive. Some people might have called that showing off… (indeed, Judas did: he wanted it to have been sold for 300 denarii and the money used for, in his opinion, better causes…)

I think that was too harshly stated and, not to mention, comes across as unfair/judgmental, especially since you presumably don’t know this man.

In principle, I don’t see anything wrong with what I think Bob Crowley is trying to say. God is a jealous God, in the good sense of jealousy (“For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God.” 2 Corinthians 11: 2). God very well could tear down the idols we build up for ourselves if they get in the way of our putting Him first and foremost in our life. That is not a controversial statement, in fact Scripture supports it.

I cannot speak to specific examples, since only God is the Judge of hearts, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with the general sentiment behind Bob Crowley’s argument, which I take to be as follows:
(1) Idols can be made of many things, material things being one of them.
(2) If we build up idols in our hearts, God may tear them down out of love for us.

Making this argument in a (virtual) conversation amongst adults does not make one an abusive parent.

Pax et bonum,

Is God or is He not a sort of superPharisee? Counting every bean?

I would not dare to presume yea or nay, but it seems like people make the same arguments over and over to that effect.

You’re calling me judgmental. You may call me whatever you wish. This man does not know my heart—nor do you.

But he did relate a story which laid out an apparent cause and effect.

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