Ignoring someone should not be our first solution when dealing with people. However, there does come a time where ignoring someone is very biblical.
Therefore, here are 4 signs God is telling you to ignore someone.
1. If Someone Is Putting You Down as You Seek to Serve the Lord, Ignore Them
Perhaps you really like someone and begin to date them. But the more time you spend together, the more you realize this person has a poor view of your spiritual motivations. They think your service to God is rooted in pride because they are jealous of you.
Or maybe you have a family member who really doesn’t like the changes you’ve made in your life as you seek to serve the Lord. So they begin to mock you and judge you when you do things for Jesus.
Notice how David experienced this with his older brother. When David was inquiring about Goliath and what Saul said about him, Eliab said to David:
Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, ‘Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’ And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.” (1 Samuel 17:28-30)
Don’t waste too much time arguing with people who are assuming the worst of you. Like David, say what needs to be said and then keep moving, ignoring their slights as you keep seeking to serve the Lord.
As Matthew 27:14 states of Jesus ignoring Herod, “But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.”
2. If Someone Is Living in Sin, Will Not Repent, and Is Unwilling to Walk with You in Righteousness, You May Just Have to Ignore Them
When you have a relationship with someone, whether that be through family bonds, friendship, or dating, it’s right to confront this person when you see a repeated sin in their life that you know is causing them and others harm (Galatians 6:1).
However, as you can see from the verses below, there does come a time where you must accept that they are not willing to receive anything good from you and are stuck in their ways:
- Proverbs 14:7, “Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.”
- Proverbs 23:9, “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.”
- Matthew 7:6, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
- Proverbs 9:7, “Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.”
When someone is living in sin, when they will not repent, and when they just want to attack you whenever you are trying to help them, it’s time for you to move on and let them go their own way.
3. If Someone Is Distracting You from Focusing on Jesus, You Have to Ignore Them
Even when someone really loves you, they can inadvertently mislead you if they have a works based mentality.
This is what happened in Luke 10:38-42 when Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha worried about hosting. Martha really loved Mary and Jesus, but her preoccupation with service caused her to scold Mary and complain to Jesus.
Apparently, Mary ignored Martha and kept focusing on Jesus, which caused Martha to complain directly to Jesus. Jesus then defended Mary when Martha complained about her.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42)
Likewise, if someone is complaining about how much you focus on Jesus, ignore them. Jesus wants you to keep choosing him above everything else.
4. If Someone Doesn’t Believe in Jesus and Is Giving You Bad Advice, Ignore Them
When someone is close to you, whether it be a romantic partner, a friend, or even a family member, we tend to listen to their advice more closely. This isn’t always the best thing to do. Regardless of who says it, bad advice is still bad advice. And when someone doesn’t believe in Jesus, you can be sure their spiritual advice is going to be bad.
As you can see by reading John 7:3-10, this is what happened to Jesus when dealing with his own brothers:
So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.’ For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.’ After saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.”
Regardless of their relationship with you, you must always ignore people who don’t believe in Jesus and are trying to give you bad advice.
Related article: 4 Signs God Is Telling You to Block a Family Member Out of Your Life