Avoid walking on your bottom lip

Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

By Les Ferguson Jr.

I have a friend down in Gulfport who has unique ways of expressing himself. When he doesn’t
want to get up in the morning, he’s “holding on to the sheets.”

That might not be an expression you’ve ever used or heard, but I expect you understand exactly what he’s talking about.

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Another expression has to do with hurt feelings, disappointing outcomes, or anything that has made him unhappy or sad. In that case, you might find him “walking on his bottom lip.”

That one is quite expressive. Obviously, it’s not literal, and I entirely understand his point.

My old buddy also used the aforementioned phrase when he thought someone was pouting or throwing a pity party. He might tell them something like, “You need to quit walking on your bottom lip.” Again, I imagine you are getting the imagery loud and clear.

It’s funny how much our lips or mouths are used as metaphors. “Keep a stiff upper lip” when you need to be stoic or hold on in some situations. And then there’s the exhortation we are sometimes given to “bite your lip” or “bite your tongue.”

The idea of biting my tongue has long been a challenge for me. I’ve had to learn, sometimes quite painfully, to keep my mouth closed. Just because I can speak into a situation doesn’t mean I should. I cannot count how my open mouth has caused me great heartache. I’m suspicious that a great many others struggle with the same. In fact, this world would be much more peaceful if most of us learned how to keep quiet, at least some of the time.

In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon says there is a time for everything. In the latter part of verse 7, he specifically says there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

Even better, the Apostle James says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and
slow to anger.” (James 1:19 CSB)

Having said all that and knowing you weren’t forced to read this column, here’s some advice to
help tomorrow be better.

First, let go of the sheets (and for college freshmen, make your bed) and start your day. Second, try hard to bite your tongue when needed. And third, if you see me, remind me to do the same!

Somebody needs to be a good example!

Blessings to all—God loves you, and so do I!