You can’t take it with you. You’ve heard that before. The New Testament says something similar when we read in Matthew 6:20 that we are to store treasures in heaven. The New Testament implication, actually it is stated quite directly, is that where our treasure is, there our heart will be as well. But the psalmist takes a completely different approach and basically tells us not to rely upon and not to be discouraged when we see others with a lot of wealth. It is a very different approach. Sometimes people can compare themselves to others. Think about that for a while.
Do people go through life comparing themselves and their salaries to people that they know? Oftentimes if one does not make as much as another we feel maybe as if we aren’t worth as much. I am speaking completely in the hypothetical because I think those who know me realize that when I talk about finances it is fairly unorthodox. I think pastors get paid too much. I think there should be a level playing field and every pastor within the Presbyterian Church should get paid the same, and maybe account for the cost of living in certain areas, but that is all. I think we should get paid close to, if not at, the same level as those in the lowest economic class of our church. You don’t want to talk to me about money, you will leave somewhat bewildered, but again, I hope I am not making this stuff up. I’m pretty sure I can point to Scripture and support my thoughts on this. I won’t do that here in this space, however.
But the psalmist does say that we are not to worry when we see others making much more than us or if their house is nicer than ours, if they have more toys than we do. Nothing we have on this earth will go with us to our death. We should not find pleasure just in what we have here on this earth thinking that it will in any way translate to what we will have beyond our time here on this earth. It doesn’t hurt us to remember that there is something, and it is something really, really good, that lies beyond this life. What we have in this life, especially our material things, are not going to make us happy in the next life.