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 | By Veronica Szczygiel, Ph.D.

Giving Our Best Selves to God

When I taught middle school I always told my students, “Be yourself, but be your best self.” I think this is what God asks of us as well. To live fully in Christ, we should consider how we can give our best selves to God.


Let’s talk to God when we are most alert.

Prayer, like conversations with loved ones, is most powerful when heartfelt. While we can pray anytime and anyplace, planning a daily time for prayer can make our talks with God more meaningful. After all, we are asked to “honor the Lord with … first fruits of all [our] produce.” (Prv 3:9) When are our first fruits, or the time we are most alert? Perhaps it’s when we first wake up, or during a run, or right before dinnertime. We can use our personal “prime time” to heartfully offer our intentions and gratitude to God.

Let’s share our talents, not bury them.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who asks his servants to look after his “talents,” or money, while he is away. One invests his share and makes a profit, while the other hides the money in a field. Upon his return, the master rewards the servant who used the talents wisely to make more.

Though the word “talent” here refers to money, I like to think of it in its modern sense: a special ability. We all have unique abilities gifted to us by God. Are we using them wisely, or are we hiding them? Whether we sing, skateboard, garden or tell great stories, we need to use our talents often. When we share our God-given gifts, we shine Christ’s light brightly for others.

Let’s offer everything we do to God.

Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk who died in 1968, wrote in a prayer: “I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.” Our lives are filled with menial tasks and daily responsibilities that can be offered up to the Lord. No matter what we do, if we do it intentionally for God, then we are giving him our best selves.

The verse in the third chapter of Proverbs goes on to say: “Then your barns will be filled with plenty, with new wine your vats will overflow.” (3:10) God promises that when we offer our first fruits and talents to him, we will be rewarded abundantly. Let’s give God our all so we can all enjoy his bountiful harvest.

Veronica Szczygiel, Ph.D., is the assistant director of online learning at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education

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