Dictionaries defines petulance as “unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered; peevish (discontented);contemptuous (disrespectful) in speech or behavior.” Putrid is “emitting a rotten smell that is unpleasant or repulsive.

As we watch the unrestrained destructive activities taking place on college campuses and in major cities, petulance seems to have reached an all time high. For almost two years rioting and destruction has caused damage to the lives and livelihoods of folks who are trying to make a living. Twenty four hour per day broadcast and rebroadcast of the violence incites others to participate, while desensitizing others to the putrid smell of chaos and anarchy.

Again God’s word offers a reason and a description of this condition that has always plagued mankind. Proverbs 14:15-18 describes the difference between those who seek knowledge and those who believe everything they hear

“Only simpletons believe everything they are told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. Short tempered people do foolish things and schemers are hated. Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.”

Some in our country are throwing a temper tantrum of epic proportions. Like petulant children, they have set aside reason and rationality and have become slaves to emotion run amuck. Likewise, common sense and regard for others property and choices has been jettisoned as mob mentality wreaks havoc and commands destruction.

If people were to carefully consider their steps, use caution and avoid danger, while seeking knowledge, these harmful unbridled emotions and activities based on ignorance might be turned in a positive direction. Rather than burn flags and the property of hard working citizens, these folks could help an elderly or disabled veteran. Instead of burning cars or smashing windows and looting small businesses someone might volunteer in a children’s program, or at a homeless shelter, crisis pregnancy shelter, or battered women’s shelter.

If these young people and those who are old enough to be better actors had jobs, the could contribute to the economy and use their hard earned dollars to make a positive difference in an at risk school or neighborhood. Instead we see out of control temper tantrums, crocodile tears and wanton, malicious, spiteful lashing out.

My how far we have fallen as a nation. Only God can restore what is broken. If only God’s people would live lives of integrity and excitement while witnessing to the life changing grace, mercy and love offered by our savior.