“The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.” (Prov. 12:5)
I often have the opportunity to give advice to people. For whatever reason, people tend to come to me (for better or worse!) to seek counsel, and if you take a look at your daily interactions and relationships, you may find yourself in the same situation.
Whether it’s a fellow believer or not, my goal is to always provide guidance that honors God in some shape or form. The advice we give as Christians should never steer people away from the Lord, nor go against His righteous precepts or instruction in His Word.
Sometimes this may be difficult when advising non-believers, because A) we can’t always give them direct biblical advice as they don’t have any context, spiritual foundation, nor faith-based empowerment by the Spirit to follow it, and B) we can’t expect non-believers to accept nor follow anything straight out of the Bible. As Paul said to the church of Corinth, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?” (1 Cor. 5:12). You will have to use discernment from the Spirit to know when it is appropriate or not to share counsel that comes directly from the Word. When dealing with others, we are to be wise as serpents, yet simultaneously gentle as doves, in the way we love (Mat. 10:16).
That said, we should never give any advice that goes against God’s Word, even if they are not believers. That means there may be times when someone is asking for advice on a situation that you may have to pass giving advice on (unless you can talk them out of that situation completely!).
No matter what counseling conversation you find yourself in, remember to always pray for wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit on how to respond, and always turn to God’s Word, whether literally or in heart/mind, before you give advice.
As Christians filled with the Holy Spirit, our purpose is to always point people to Christ in some shape or form; and we are to avoid our words becoming a stumbling block or hindrance to someone finding the Lord.
May God bless us all with His wisdom, that we may bring honor and glory to Him as we strive to help others!
[From December 12, 2018]