Who’s Your Butt-Kicker?

Author and Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Leonard Sweet, asserts in his book, 11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without, that in order to finish well in the race of life, we MUST have a series of healthy relationships.  While I won’t take the time here to divulge all eleven relationships, let me touch on one that will “get you moving.”  Sweet notes that one relationship we all need is a “Butt-Kicker” and uses Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, as a Biblical example.  I’ll let a few of Sweet’s words explain the essence of a butt-kicker.  He writes:


  • Jethro is someone who asks you, “What’s your favorite future?” and who blesses you forward.

  • You need a Jethro:  someone who boots you awake so you look at rather than look away and blesses you forward with, “Go in vigor and strength in what you are going to do.”

  • You need a Jethro:  a conscientious kick-in-the-pants objector who confronts your tut-tutting and hew-hawing, who unglues you from the boob tube or YouTube, and makes you face up to your capacity to wallow in mud baths of your own making.

  • You need a Jethro:  a laxative that pushes you out the door and ends the “after you, Claude” syndrome–where you say, “I’ll only do it if you do it,” and the other says, “We’ll only do it if you do it,” and meanwhile nobody goes anywhere, everyone just sits around, and nothing gets done.  

  • You need a Jethro:  someone who puts the boot to the backside and tells you to live life, not just with your brain but with your backbone … and that “telltale tingle down the spine” that confirms you are living the truth.   

Sweet’s challenge:  “Who is your Jethro?  And who are you Jethroing?  Jethros bless you to go to what God is calling you to do so that you can receive peace in your life.  Everyone needs someone (often older) who is wild and crazy about them, who believes in them, and cares enough about them to wake and shake them up to dream big and live large.  The older you get (and the transition from ‘young turk’ to ‘old geezer’ is alarmingly fast), the more you need a Jethro to help you make the transition from blazing comet to fixed star, rather than shooting star.”

Need I say more?