How to Give Godly Advice to a Friend

How to Give Godly Advice to a Friend

How to Give Godly Advice to a Friend

Giving godly advice or wise counsel to your friend can be tricky. I've learned the hard way that most people only tell one side of the story. They err towards telling the side that makes them out to be more . No one wants to look like the bad guy or admit to sin, so people will leave out pertinent pieces of information when seeking godly advice. Nonetheless, we need to be prepared to offer godly advice and counsel when our friends ask for it.

Giving godly advice or wise counsel to your friend can be tricky. I've learned the hard way that most people only tell one side of the story. They err towards telling the side that makes them out to be more . No one wants to look like the bad guy or admit to sin, so people will leave out pertinent pieces of information when seeking godly advice. Nonetheless, we need to be prepared to offer godly advice and counsel when our friends ask for it. 

Regardless of the advice we’re giving, we must keep God's word first and foremost. God's word stands the test of time and is suitable for any situation we encounter. We have to know how and when to apply His Word, and that comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ, having a prayer life, and being a student of His word. 

Godly advice is steeped in the word of God. When we offer godly advice, we may not cite Scripture and verse, but we should seek to share the heart, mind, and will of God, nonetheless. It’s impossible to do this if we don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, aren’t praying, studying the Bible, or in subjection to the Holy Spirit. When we are diligent in these spiritual disciplines, we will be more apt to provide godly advice.

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Differences between Godly and Worldly Advice 

Before coming to Christ, I gave fleshly advice. My advice resembled the world's way of doing things. I encouraged my friends to think about themselves first, to be selfish. I encouraged my friends to do whatever felt right to them. I cringe now as I think back to some of the advice I gave. 

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Godly advice isn't selfish. Godly counsel puts God first and pleases Him. Godly advice glorifies God. When we offer godly advice to our friends, we’re offering Jesus. We’re inviting Jesus into their relationship, making it a three-fold cord (see Ecclesiastes 4:12). Godly advice will make the relationship stronger. Worldly advice, while it can be good at times, has a different purpose. Worldly advice often glorifies one of the parties over the other. Worldly advice will keep the focus on the individuals, while Godly advice keeps the focus on Jesus.

Godly Advice vs. Personal Opinion and Cultural Perspective

Indeed, we need to ensure our own opinion or cultural perspectives don't form our advice. Keeping the focus on Jesus is important because we don't want to show favoritism to our friends. We want to be as impartial and unbiased as possible. Thus, we need to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, so we offer godly advice instead of our personal opinions. Furthermore, we need to be led by the Holy Spirit, so we don't minister from a place of hurt, pride, or prejudice. 

For instance, your friend is in an inter-racial relationship and seeks advice from you, but if you don’t like interracial relationships, don't believe in them, or think they're not right in God's eyes, the advice you’ll provide is not coming from the heart, mind, or will of God. 

Or if our friend comes to us seeking advice for their relationship because the spouse committed adultery, and we're still harboring anger at our spouses for the same offense, we won’t offer godly advice. We should allow the Holy Spirit to check our hearts because often what we feel and believe don’t align with God’s word. 

Knowing When to Seek Help From Others

Despite how much we read the Bible, know Jesus Christ, and pray, we will often encounter situations we find overwhelming. Those are the times we must humble ourselves and advise our friend to seek advice from someone more equipped to provide them with wise counsel. 

Using the example above in which the friend is dealing with infidelity in her marriage, we may need to send our friend to someone more experienced or equipped if we’re unable to offer wise counsel. 

Also, we may need to recommend our friend to a trained counselor if our friend is experiencing emotional, verbal, or physical abuse.

The Bible is full of wisdom regarding nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships. We would be wise to study and apply those Scriptures to our relationships as well as when offering advice to our friends. 

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Biblical Wisdom for Offering Advice

1. The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little. (Proverbs 10:20)

When combined with godliness and wisdom, the things we say to our friends can bring health and healing. Let’s ensure our tongues are guided by the Holy Spirit when communicating with our friends or spouse. 

2. He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

The more we commune with the Holy Spirit and His wise servants, the more we’ll walk in wisdom. Let’s surround ourselves with wisdom so we can walk in wisdom toward our friends and spouse. 

3. There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

This verse teaches us the critical difference between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. Godly wisdom leads to life and health. Worldly wisdom can lead to death and destruction. We need to ensure we always seek the Lord for our relationships. God knows what we need. He also knows what our spouse or friend needs. 

4. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. (Proverbs 16:2)

When our friends come to us for advice, they’ve already turned the issue over in their minds. Often they think they know what's right, and we may even agree with them. This verse is a reminder to seek the Lord for guidance regarding our relationships because only He knows the motives and intentions of the heart. 

5. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

Regardless of what our friends or loved ones are experiencing, we should love them through it. No matter what happens, we must continue to love. Love makes all the difference in relationships.

6. A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Although Jesus Christ fulfills the end of this verse, we should seek to be that friend or spouse who sticks closer than a brother. Too many people are giving up and walking away for the smallest slight. That's not a true friend. Real friends stick in there.

7. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)

We must always tell our friends the truth, even when they don’t want to hear it. We mustn’t deceive them with lies. If our friend is at fault, she needs to know. 

8. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)

What would happen to relationships if all parties involved commit themselves to applying 1 Corinthians 13:4-6? I'm convinced we could eradicate divorce and discord amongst Christians. Let's encourage our friends and spouse to walk in love. Love will strengthen and heal relationships.

9. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

Revenge and retaliation have no place in godly relationships. When we are hurt or offended by our spouse or friend, we must seek the Lord and ask Him to help us forgive. If we don’t, anger, bitterness, and resentment will settle in our hearts, dooming any chance of reconciliation.

10. Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  (Ephesians 5:20-22)

It's incredible how many people like to quote Ephesians 5:22, without quoting Ephesians 5:21. One of the biggest problems I've seen in the marital relationship is the lack of subjection to "one another in the fear of Christ." Sometimes, marital discord can be resolved by both husband and wife, subjecting themselves to each other in the fear of Christ.

Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously. Aretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.


Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously. Aretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.

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