A change in behavior that does not stem from a change in heart is not commendable; it is condemnable.
Chandler, Matt; Geiger, Eric; Patterson, Josh (2013-11-26). Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (Kindle Location 2100). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
That is a frightening line. I think of our Sunday School class, reading a book about the art of neighboring. Each class seems to begin with 30 minutes of discussion, therapy, or how to, and then we tag a Scripture on the end to legitimize the lesson. So we start with the behavior (because the desire is to grow the church) and end with the Scripture. But what if we started with the Scripture. One like, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38) One that starts with the heart for God, then progresses to our neighbor.
There is nothing wrong with being a good neighbor. Millions of people do it everyday. Some of them even go to church. And that is the point. If someone comes to church because they view me as a good person, then they have come to church for the wrong reason. I am not good, my God is good. And I need Him as does my neighbor.
If my obedience begins with my desire to win my neighbor rather than my love for a great God who has saved me, what have I won my neighbor to? Is it a religion of do's and don'ts, and a pressure to perform? Isn't that exactly what Jesus came to rescue us from? His yoke is easy and his burden is light, because the pressure is gone! All we have to do is love Him from the heart and the behaviors will fall into place.
The best way to overcome the world is not with morality or self-discipline. Christians overcome the world by seeing the beauty and excellence of Christ. They overcome the world by seeing something more attractive than the world: Christ.
Chandler, Matt; Geiger, Eric; Patterson, Josh (2013-11-26). Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (Kindle Locations 2127-2129). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.