Recently in a sweet conversation with my son, he said that he’d been ghosted by others in the family. When I reflected on our conversation sometime later, I realized that I had no clue about what being ghosted meant. I decided that it must be something from the younger generation and I’d better get busy getting up to date! I was right and it didn’t take long for me to discover that I’ve been ghosted too!
Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication – blocking you in their contact list, ignoring your emails or phone calls, etc. It doesn’t just happen in romance. You can be ghosted by a family member, friend, or co-worker, left hurt by once-close relationships that suddenly vanish. This is NOT how we are to live in the Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven. Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit take relationships VERY seriously. In fact, They are all about relationship…with God and with others.
Why do people ghost?
There can be many reasons for ghosting, but the main reason is that the person is avoiding conflict. It is a method used by some to avoid conflict or uncomfortable conversations. “It has to do with an inability to handle interpersonal and relational dynamics of actually telling someone that you want to end a relationship.” Said F. Diane Barth, psychotherapist. Someone who hates difficult conversations can just ignore a few phone calls or emails until you get the hint. People who ghost may also be trying to avoid emotional attachment, Barth said. Disappearing is a way to protect themselves from getting too close to another person. I will say it again. In God’s Kingdom He is all about good, healthy relationships. As we grow spiritually it behooves us to learn about relationships – how to conduct them, and how to handle them when things get difficult. If you are in relationship with someone long enough, you are going to have differences. In our spiritual journey we need to learn and be equipped to handle those tough times when relationships demand commitment. Ghosting someone is the cowardly way to handle any relationship. We need to learn how to press in and handle the situation righteously the way Father would have us handle it. Good conflict resolution shows maturity and a desire to please our Heavenly Father.
How to deal with being ghosted.
Ghosting can be hurtful and confusing. If you have already tried to reach out to someone fruitlessly, obsessing over the reasons behind the ghosting won’t change the final result and may not provide a sense of closure. Remember, you can have good, healthy and productive conversations with a wise person. It is fruitless to try and talk to a fool. Once you determine you’ve been ghosted and the person is alive and well, their actions are a clear indication they aren’t ready to be in a healthy relationship with you. It is good for you to reflect on your part of the relationship and take full ownership for any of your failures and fully repent, but you should never obsess or frantically try to contact the person who ghosted you. Healthy relationships are ALWAYS two-way relationships. One-way relationships are codependent and never produce good fruit. Codependency is idolatry and is the work of the devil. Resist all temptations to move into feelings of rejection, depression, guilt and shame. These, too, are the work of the enemy. Knowing your true identity – who you are as a son or daughter of the Most High God will help you in dealing with ghosting.
Finally in conclusion, let’s take a look at a scripture in God’s word that clearly tells us how to deal with this evil force of ghosting.
“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing you own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ – The Message – have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” Colossians 3:15-17 MSG
Great article and should be a must read for all in ministry. As a pastor for over thirty-three years, it hurts deeply when people you love and serve suddenly disappear with no word or explanation. Invariably, you wonder what you said or did that caused this to occur. Sadly, many in ministry measure their effectiveness by numbers, setting themselves up for disappointment and disillusionment. This is one of the reasons why the latest George Barna research indicates that two out of five pastors nationwide are seriously thinking about quitting the ministry. I thank God for the ministry of A Place in the Father’s Heart. Roger and Gerri issue a clarion call that our identity and acceptance is in Him, and He will never “ghost” you.
We really value your comments, your experience as a Pastor, and your wisdom. Thanks for taking time to share your comments here with others. It is so priceless that He never “ghosts” us! What a mighty God we do serve.
Roger and Gerri