Employee compensation is often discussed in two components: salary and benefits. When we are young, the salary part tends to grab our attention, but as we age, our focus often becomes more about the benefits provided by an employer.

The fact is that employee benefits are highly important and valuable at the beginning and every stage of one’s career (as I remind young mentees).  A wise employee will understand that, and, depending on one’s life circumstances, the benefits package might prove to be worth much more than the amount of his or her paycheck.

What We Value Most

Nevertheless, it makes sense that our focus changes as we get older.  That’s because our day-to-day bills usually diminish after we finish with education costs and the accumulation of household furnishings,  and maybe even finish paying off our home mortgages.  Meanwhile, the stuff of many benefits packages, including health, disability and life insurance, and retirement contributions, tend to grow more expensive as we age.  I know more than one person who is well-advanced in his or her career and “only” working to keep benefits.  Time has a way of changing what we value most.

Benefits Beyond Measure

The psalmist David reminds us in Psalm 103 to “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  What are they? The list given is weighty, as David proclaims:

Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5)

Surely, such incredible benefits as forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, compassion, satisfaction and a renewed youth are invaluable at whatever stage of our life journeys we find ourselves!  But I confess they mean even more to me now as I’m further along the path, with a head full of gray hair. Maybe it is that I’m wiser, or my understanding of the Lord’s benefits is deeper.  Or maybe it is simply that time has changed what I value the most.  Whatever the reason, when I reflect on what God has done in my life, I am left with an overwhelming desire to say: “Praise the Lord, my soul.” Yes, praise the Lord.