Devotion, Faith, Leadership, Relationships

Beware of Bootlicking and Bootlickers!

In the stiff competition of life people apply fair means and unfair means. One of the unfair ways in which people seek...

Written by Dr. Rei Kesis
· 4 min read >

2 Samuel 4:10
when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and put him to death in Ziklag. That was the reward I gave him for his news!

A bootlicker is someone who degrades themselves in order to get favours from those who are above them. A person who flatters another in order to get a favour or get ahead. A person who tries to gain favour by behaving like a slave, servant and totally degrades themselves in the presence of those whom they seek their favour. A person who is excessively attentive or obedient. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

A bootlicker will stand out among obedient people. While everyone may be totally and appropriately obedient, a bootlicker will go beyond that standard in order to be favored. What persons in authority may never know or actively think about, is that bootlickers do it for themselves and not for the boss. A bootlicker is not committed to you, they are committed to what you offer. If a better offer comes by, they would betray you without batting an eyelid. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Bootlickers take advantage of our deep-seated sinful desire to be shown more respect than we deserve. They feed our desire for attention and undue respect. They make us feel exactly as we wish to feel. They make us feel almost demigods and immortal. They make us believe that their loyalty is unshakeable and we have someone we can forever trust. They feed our desire to have someone on our side particularly when we are wrong. When we are wrong, guilt overwhelms us to repentance. Bootlickers prevent us from the guilt feeling that leads to repentance. Bootlickers cheer us on as we do wrong against people and against God. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

King David refused to be confused by bootlickers. Baanah and Rekab were soldiers under King Saul who wanted to kill King David, 2 Samuel 4:2. That means under King Saul, Baanah and Rekab had also tried to kill David. Now that David was in power and Saul was dead, Baanah and Rekab went and killed Ish-Bosheth son of Saul. Saul was their former boss. Therefore Ish-Bosheth was their boss too. These guys killed the boss they had shown total allegiance. Why did they kill Ish-Bosheth? They killed Ish-Bosheth thinking it will please the new ruler King David. They killed Ish-Bosheth and took his head to King David hoping to get favors from the new administration. Baanah and Rekab were bootlickers under King Saul and were now trying to win David on their bootlicking mission. David refused to buy their tricks and he killed them. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Baanah and Rekab killed Ish-Bosheth in order to win favors from David. They thought David will be very happy now that Ish-Bosheth son of Saul his enemy is dead. The greatest desire and concern for these bootlickers were not Saul, not Ish-Bosheth, and not David but their own survival. If a new king had come, these characters would easily kill David to please the new king. They were indeed bootlickers. They show you total respect, obedience, and allegiance not to support you but for their own good. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Anyone who tried to win David’s favor by harming another person was immediately killed by David. Those who gladly reported the death of Saul and Jonathan died on the spot for trying to win favors using misfortune. Those are opportunists and bootlickers. Do we as leaders operate like David? When someone brings information that damages a fellow worker, do we do what David would do, or do we sit and enjoy the gossip using time for productivity. Any leader who encourages gossip, hearsay, and flow of information that looks like intelligence but is just balderdash, is no leader of David’s standards. It is bootlickers who take to leaders secret information about who is working against them when in reality no one is. It is bootlicking leaders who believe that kind of information because they too likely rose to power by bootlicking. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Bootlickers in a Restaurant will be assigned to clean utensils, but when they visit the boss they will be discussing cooks, waiters and menu, but nothing about their own incompetence in cleaning utensils. They want the boss to see others as bad so that they look good. They sacrifice others not themselves. They feign allegiance to the boss but it is allegiance to themselves. They play the racial, tribal or familar card as an affirmation on undying allegiance, yet it is false allegiance. Bootlickers will address us with big unusual titles that do not befit Christians or a workplace. A lady will be addressed as my mother. A man may be addressed as the great one, the big one, etc. Bootlickers do all these to blind us of their intentions that are personal. Ninety percent the time they succeed, until they meet a good leader like David. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Bootlickers will work extra time and take great personal risks, not for the love of the job, but to please the boss and win favors. Bootlickers will do embarrasing things without shame just to demonstrate false allegiance. They will fight in public on behalf of the boss, yet the boss didnt send them. Bootlickers will never air their own opinion until they are sure of the opinion of the boss. Therefore they never help but support anything even wrong doing. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Whatever you get by bootlicking you will lose by bootlicking. If you rise by bootlicking, you will expect those under you and around you to be bootlickers. If you rise by bootlicking you will fall because of bootlicking. David knew the dangers of tolerating bootlicking and bootlickers and he stopped it in the most severe way. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Bootlicking is an easy way to get things. Therefore bootlicking is highly attractive to many of us. The difference is that bootlickers are unable to resist the urge. God’s grace can enable us resist that urge. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Are you entertaining people who show you excessive undue respect? Are you being treated beyond what is permissible in a civil environment? Are you allowing people to treat you like a demigod? Are you putting least resistance to such shenanigans so that you look like you don’t like it but you actually are enjoying it? Is there someone you have allowed to update you on things unrelated to direct work but is pure gossip about others? Have you allowed people to harm those you perceive as enemies so that they win your favor? It is a leadership failure to allow bootlicking under you and bootlickers around you. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Bootlicking is contrary to God’s will. It is a worship of the influential and the affluent. How do you behave in the presence of the affluent and influential? Do you suddenly turn into worship mode? There is a difference between worship and bootlicking. Worship is directed to God and bootlicking to a person whose favors we seek immediately or in the long-term. There is a difference between obedience and bootlicking. Bootlicking goes beyond societal norms of showing respect. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

Bootlicking destroys our self-esteem. Bootlicking makes us subject to abuse by those in authority. Bootlicking is hypocrisy since you are not actually committed but just pretending in order to get favors. Bootlicking destroys faith in God as you trust those whose boots you lick. Bootlicking is corruption since it removes objectivity in what you do. Beware of bootlicking and bootlickers!

May God save us from the bootlicking behavior and may He also save us from the traps laid around us by bootlickers who want our attention, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Written by Dr. Rei Kesis
Rei Kesis is an ordained Pastor of the SDA Church and A Senior Lecturer of Applied Theology and Religious Studies. Profile

14 Replies to “Beware of Bootlicking and Bootlickers!”

  1. A wonderful one. May God give me strength to differentiate between worship and boot licking.
    Be blessed my pastor

  2. Amen 🙏

    May God save me from the bootlicking behavior.

    May He also save me from the traps laid around me by bootlickers who want my attention.

    In the Name of Jesus I pray.

    Blessings my brother.

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