Regarding the Present in Light of the Future

An analysis of socioeconomic classes in America focused on the observable differences evident in value systems, behavioral patterns, and customs that exist between the classes. One of the most interesting dimensions of the findings was with respect to the question of how people regard the present in light of the future.

People in the upper levels of the class register tend to be much more future-oriented than those in the lower range. The trend in the lower classes is in the direction of immediacy. Consumption of goods, spending money, and other decisions are made with a view to short-range gratification. Planning for the future, sacrificing present impulses for future reserve, capital investment for long-range benefits, and the setting of goals are endeavors not often found in this segment of society.

The societal phenomenon illustrates an important lesson for the Christian: one’s future orientation often has a significant impact on one’s present patterns of behavior and an enormous impact on our growth as Christians.

Everybody has some kind of eschatological viewpoint or expectation. The viewpoint may not be consciously developed or carefully worked out, but some assumption about the future is made by everyone. It is unavoidable. As creatures of time and space, we are tethered not only to the past, but also to the future. Hence we say, “Right now counts forever.”

Coram Deo

What decisions are you making today that will affect your future? Remember, right now counts forever.

Passages for Further Study

Matthew 24:14
Matthew 24:30–31

First published in Tabletalk Magazine, an outreach of Ligonier. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy.