>This is from a talk I gave to a group of at-risk teenagers tonight.

What do you value in life? What kind of things are most important to you?

Life, family, possessions?
Honesty, respect, or love?

I want to talk about the difference between what we say we value and what our actions demonstrate that we value.

In my life, I have said that I value honesty, but told lies.
I have said that I value family, but left my family wondering where I was and how I was doing for months.
I have said that I value respect, but been unwilling to give respect.
I have said that I value possessions, but have shown myself to be a thief, disrespecting other’s possessions.
I have claimed to value love, but used “love” to take advantage of other people, playing on their emotions.

The difference between what we say we value and what our actions demonstrate that we value is a matter of integrity.

A building that has integrity stands and does not fall in; a building that does not have integrity is one with rotten studs, a crumbling foundation, and a caving roof.
So it is with life. A life in which values and actions do not mesh is a life that is bound to cave in.

The thing about integrity that is difficult many times is when we find ourselves the victim of someone else’s lack of it. No doubt many have been hurt and disappointed by someone who did not keep their word or do the right thing. Why should I have integrity when it seems like no one else does?

Whatever wrong has been done to you, or whatever wrong you have done to others, you can decide today to live a life of integrity. You can begin right now!

I have found the strength to live what I believe by calling on Jesus Christ in prayer and letting His Spirit guide my life. I encourage anyone who has never trusted God for their help to call on Jesus Christ in prayer; He will not let you down!

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