A show-off is someone who likes taking the spotlight—calling attention to themselves by the things that they do. A show-off will often do far more than is necessary to gain that notoriety—trying to appear to be the best at what they do even if it is really just a facade. A show-off gives little thought to the effect their display has on others. They can cause another to feel inferior, or damage a person’s self esteem, or just plain embarrass someone for their lack of ability or knowledge.
It is hard for me to imagine that anyone would really want to do bad things to others. I’m sure it happens, but I’d like to think that most human beings strive to be fairly civil to one another. It is the unintentional act that can do the most harm. It can be a poorly chosen remark, a careless decision, or the building up of one’s self image by diminishing the efforts of others.
In the community of faith we know that each person is given spiritual gifts—talents, skills, and abilities—and we are expected to accomplish the best we can with those gifts. We also know that each person’s gifts are important and valuable. James remind us that humility is key. We could use our gifts to build up ourselves, but that would not serve the community or serve God. We must set self aside and use our gifts to build up the Body of Christ. That begins by making sure we build each other up first.
We are called to be show-offs—but not to build ourselves up. We are called to be show-offs—to show our faith by doing the best we can using the gifts God has given us. Good works—doing our best—this is what glorifies God. This is what reveals the glory of God’s reign for the world.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Rik