Some Words Are Hard to Swallow!

A favorite baby photo of mine is the one of our first-born putting his foot in his mouth. (Nowstick foot in mouth 10 that I’ve mentioned that picture, I hope I can find it to use with this post of Shirl and You.) How long has it been since you put your foot in your mouth? I mean literally. Most people beyond the age of four to nine months will find this impossible to do. Somewhere in that time is when babies can do it. That’s when they notice their toes and since everything else goes in their mouths why not a toe or two? I did find a grown woman saying she can still do it and she gives credit to practicing yoga for staying that limber. I figure it must have something to do with being double jointed.

So much for literally putting your foot in your mouth. We have all done the other while  stick foot in mouth 4 embarrassing our selves by something we have said. It was a long time ago that I remember  really putting my foot in my mouth. A bunch of us kids were swimming in a local lake when I said to my girlfriend, “That fellow over there smells like he just came out of a barn.” He had. That comment was meant only for her to hear, but we all know how well sound carries over water, and it did then, and he heard it! He was very hurt and I was embarrassed for saying something stupid that offended another person. Some times we speak quickly and without regard to what we are saying, but this was a well thought out comment, that went much farther than I thought it would. I’ve done the other though, too.

I remember casually saying I didn’t like something, then realized that the person I was stick foot in mouth 5talking to liked that very thing. She was gracious enough not to say anything and the subject was dropped. But, not without embarrassment on my side. Sometimes we are just too eager to put our two cents in, without regard for the people around us. We’ve all grown up being told to think before you speak. the problem is I just didn’t remember this until after I had spoken. I am generally a quiet person, if you don’t believe that, ask my husband. It’s a known fact that some women talk incessantly. In fact, one person said that mornings, as soon as her feet touch the floor, if no one is around to talk to, she talks to herself.

Most everyone has put their foot in their mouth at one time or another. Often this is done without malice, but sometimes people do disregard stick foot in the mouth9other people’s feelings. Benjamin Franklin must have experienced the embarrassment of not thinking before he spoke because he said, “Better slip with the foot, than the tongue.” When we physically fall we can laugh about it, get up, and hope the bruises heal, and we haven’t hurt anyone else’s feelings. What about a man like Thomas Edison who was brilliant? His advice was to talk less and listen more. He said, “You’ll have many opportunities in life to keep your mouth shut: You could take advantage of every one of them.”

Needless to say, the Bible offers the best advice on the subject. James 1:19 says “Know this my beloved brothers, let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. A solution couldn’t be made clearer as we read Proverb 29:20: “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

So there are wise steps to take as given to us in God’s Word. If followed we won’t stick our foot in our mouths, eat crow, or swallow our pride. And something else to put into practice is to remember that if you’re not willing to say something to a person’s face, then don’t say it to someone else about them. This put into practice would have eliminated the embarrassment at the lake for both me and the other person.

This week’s Shirl And You’s subject is one you all have thoughts on. I’d love to have you share them with me.

P.S. I give up I can’t find that photo I was hoping to show you. Sorry!




8 thoughts on “Some Words Are Hard to Swallow!

  1. I believe we have all put our foot in our mouths…as the saying goes. and we have learned valuable lessons and consequences. The photo will show up when you stop looking for it…pray about it and He will direct you to it.


    • Hi Karen: Learning valuable lessons the hard way, is a good way to describe putting your foot in your mouth. I like your method of finding things. I’ve learned to pray about everything. I’ll let you know when I find the photo. Thanks for writing.


  2. Too many times (on facebook especially), I see people who are “airing their dirty laundry”, so to speak…..and they end up putting their foot into their mouths, offending others or being disrespectful with their comments and the vulgarity that they choose to use. I especially notice this being done by the younger (and often disrespectful generation). Sometimes I just wonder what the world is coming to. So many people forsake God, and they claim to be atheist or something even worse. If you don’t have something good to say, or you are going to create an argument or be offensive, then it is better to keep your unappreciated comments to yourself. More people need to learn how to be humble and respectful. This is how God wants us to be.


    • Humble and respectful, I think you’ve hit upon the two character traits that would help eliminate the foot-in-mouth circumstance. Thanks for writing Colleen, I too, can understand your concern for how people seem unaware of a need to be both.


  3. OK, on the humorous side, but not so funny for our son-in law who is now in heaven and I am sure doesn’t have to worry about ‘foot and mouth disease.”

    When we were at Camp of the Nations back in the 80’s and early 90’s, our son-in-law James Camacho was Program Director in the late 80’s. It was at winter retreat time and we were without a cook and Rosina and I filled in for a number of years.

    This specific weekend we were interviewing and trying out a couple to possibly take our place. The lady liked to sing, be it a little off key, Unbeknown to Rosina and I, she had asked Dr. Bill Shade the Director, if she might sing for the young people at there closing lunch that Sunday.
    He said that would be fine and we found out about it after the fact. She was a very large lady to put it mildly.

    James didn’t know that she was to sing. He was always “hamming” it up with the youth which they loved. Whatever he was doing, he told them, “Don’t forget, it is not over until the fat lady sings.” The lady was in the back of the kitchen and either didn’t hear it or was very gracious and chose not to hear it. If you could have seen James’ face when Bill Shade introduced her and she came out to sing you would have to have covered your mouth to keep from laughing. All I can say is that everyone in that dinning room acted very nobly, not even a smirk.

    Later I told him that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. I don’t remember how he handled it, but I am sure he must have apologized. Over his years of ministry until God took him home last year with cancer I never knew him not take cared of an offense if he thought there was one.

    I don’t respond very often so I thought I would make it a long one. Give Burl our greetings.


    • Hi Emerson: Your comment is a great example of putting a foot in the mouth. Thanks for sharing it. You are a good story teller, so don’t hesitate to comment on Shirl and You. I appreciate hearing from you. You and Rosina are great examples of being willing to fall-in wherever needed, even as cooks.


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