I can’t help but wonder about all the emphasis these days on acts of kindness and giving back to one’s community. For example, we hear a lot today about “paying it forward.” But could this be out of guilt? While kindness and generosity are two aspects of godliness, there are many others, such as holiness, morality, modesty, and humility. I believe our society as a whole feels the weight of guilt for its lack of those other aspects of godliness, and therefore tries to compensate for it by overemphasizing the kindness and generosity thing.
However, all the kindness and generosity in the world is not going to make up for one’s (or society’s) immorality, for example. God will not allow us to ease our collective conscience by being obedient in some things in order to compensate for our disobedience in others. He requires that we do it His way. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus scolded the people of His time (who were also selectively obeying him) for having “omitted the weightier matters of law, judgment, mercy, and faith.” He then told them that “these ye ought to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” He would have similar words for people of today.