Our neighbor claims to be a Christian, but he's one of the grouchiest people I've ever met, and he's just unpleasant to be around. Which is more important in God's eyes—what we believe, or how we behave?
Both are important in God’s eyes. The reason is because what we believe will influence how we live—no matter who we are. Let me explain.
Suppose, for example, you believed the only purpose of life was to have a good time. God wasn’t important to you; you only cared about yourself and what was happening to you right now. Would this belief influence the way you lived? Of course. You’d be like the man in one of Jesus’ parables who said to himself, “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19).
The tragedy, however, is that eventually you’d find you were on a dead-end road. Not only would you never find lasting happiness, but one day you’d die and meet God—and then it would be too late. You’d discover your wrong beliefs had betrayed you. Jesus warned, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Matthew 7:13).
But God loves us, and He doesn’t want us to go down the wrong road in life. Instead, He has provided another way—and that way is Jesus Christ. When we give our lives to Christ and believe in Him, our lives will be different. We’ll no longer live only for ourselves, but for Christ and for others. Pray for your neighbor, that he may discover the joy and peace that come from following Christ. And may this be true of you as well.