Maturity, among other things, is the ability to look ahead and to adjust our current behavior accordingly. Ten-year-olds have a hard time seeing past next Friday. That’s why God gives children parents, in order to help them see further than they can see on their own. To the degree we can see what’s ahead, and recognize that what we do or don’t do today will affect the outcome for the future, wisdom increases.

God gives us a church (and a Bible) to instruct us in His Word, which is the infallible guide as to the outcomes of certain kinds of decisions and behavior. The Book of Proverbs is, for example, a great place to compare the different trajectories of fools verses wise men. The whole Bible enables us to see how the story ends for various kinds of people and how that is connected to their faith and life. God also places us in His Church and surrounds us with all kinds of people of different ages and experiences. If we will tap into that collective wisdom, then we can mature faster and better. If we only consult with our immediate peer group, they usually can’t see any further than we can.

So, as we consider our future wealth, health, spiritual maturity, sexuality, education, marriage, children, etc., looking down the road, and knowing where we want to go should cause us to change our behavior today. Looking ahead is a key element of what it means to be mature.