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This sermon is inspired by the monthly reflection for July, "Corruptibilty, yet Integrity".

I don't think anyone alive would be able to say corruption isn't a concern in the world right now; not while keeping a straight face, anyway. From the leaders of nations inciting riots and public officials being paid by private corporations to a bit of cash being passed to a restaurant host to ensure a short wait time, corruption seems to be everywhere, at every level. It's easy to see these kinds of corruption - after all, the news outlets tell us about then every day - but what about the corruption in our personal lives? For me, that's a bit trickier.

I went to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and found that two of the several definitions of corruption are:

- a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct (as in, the corruption of computer files or a text)

- decay, decomposition (as in, the corruption of a carcass)

It seems to me that corruption is what happens when things stop trying. When, for whatever reason, they stop working toward being in alignment with their true and highest selves and instead become still and stagnate. That stillness, that lack of growth, allows corruption to creep in.

For me, the early signs of corruption looks like poor eating habits, not keeping up my meditation routine, not doing art or lessons, and isolating. When I see these signs of corruption in myself I know that it's time to put extra effort into moving again, and that's where integrity comes in. Going back to Merriam-Webster, two of the definitions for integrity are:

- an unimpaired condition

- the quality or state of being complete or undivided

So by moving toward my goals- by actively learning and growing - I move toward integrity and, necessarily, away from corruption.

If corruption is being unwhole or "falling apart" then integrity is "putting the pieces back together." This is something we all have the power to do for ourselves, by learning our personal early warning signs of corruption and choosing to actively move toward integrity when we see them.