Shimshonit at Jews by Choice reflects on this idea of maturity:
And yet Judaism, at least as I see it, is not like most other faiths. Judaism boasts—and demands—a level of maturity not always seen in other religions. Jews are responsible for their own actions, and are required through a clear process to atone for their own sins against others and God. They have traditionally been required to be literate and learned, rather than reserving that education for their clergy. Rather than being encouraged to reject this world in favor of some transcendent state or a world to come, Jews are mandated to embrace this world wholeheartedly (pain, joy, and everything in between) and to improve it as much as possible during our time here. And we are expected to follow the commandments we are given through our own free will. (Yes, there are punishments stipulated for transgressing them, but the reward of being holy and having our own land are enticements rather than threats.)
Early in my teaching career, I was asked to help a high school classroom full of evangelical Christians to understand the Jewish religious outlook better. I prepared answers to their questions in advance and when I was finished my little talk, a hand shot up in the third row. "Do you believe in the Devil?" the student asked. I paused a minute, trying to think of any stories I knew of in the Torah where the Devil looms large. I answered that Satan plays a very peripheral role in Judaism, and we don’t really think about him much. (I’ve since learned from the Book of Job that the Satan is actually on Hashem’s payroll.) "Then why be good?" she asked. I was aghast. I had learned to be "good" (moral, ethical, whatever) without benefit of much religion in my house, but here was someone for whom goodness could only be learned out of fear of punishment. "Because it’s the right thing to be," I answered. I didn’t want to be rude, but all I could think was, It’s what distinguishes grown-ups from children, and a religion fit for a grown-up from a religion fit only for a child.
I recall the many times the Catholic priest urged those in the pews to have the "faith of a child". He may have meant that just as we as children had faith that our parents would take care of us, so too would G-d. The phrase places people in the role of being perpetual children. This creates a tension, for as adults, we know or should know we are responsible for our actions and amends must be made.
We have to do the right thing. And when we fail, amends must be made to those we have harmed. It is accepting responsibility and making the leap into maturity. This is what our ancestors did in the 40 years of B'midbar and it wait we strive to do today.