In Acts chapter 10, Cornelius receives a strong compliment to his character. He is described first and foremost as a “devout man who feared God with all his household.”
It’s important because he was a good man who did good things, like giving generously and praying continually. But before he was a good man, he was a God-fearing man. Without a total heart committment to love, serve and fear God, all the well-intentioned good works don’t mean anything. So many Christians, myself included, run around trying to please God with what we say and do, but in our hearts we don’t really fear God.
I believe God wants a fully committed heart on the inside before he wants a “good person” on the outside.