It’s not easy knowing when to speak into another person’s life and when to hold your tongue. Some people speak into other’s lives all the time but their words bear no fruit and other people seldom say anything and miss opportunities to sow valuable seeds into another person’s life. A great friend is one who knows the value of giving Godly advice and will do so whenever necessary. There is also a great deal of value in knowing when to say nothing and just offer loving acceptance.
So how can we become a friend that offers Godly advice? There are two simple steps 1) get to know God and 2) get to know your friend. It is that simple. Let me give you an example of a man who received unwise advice from his friends, advice which ultimately led to his death. His name was Haman and he was a 5th Century B.C. noble and high-ranking political advisor of the Persian Empire under King Ahasuerus. He found himself in a difficult situation, nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh . To cut a long story short, they did not give Haman Godly advice and he was hanged as a result of following it. This story is one of the most famous stories of Jewish history and it could have turned out very differently if Haman had friends who offered Godly advice.
Your advice might not be so dramatic but how do you know that what you say to your friends might not lead them down the wrong path that could end in disaster? Proverbs 15:22 says that, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” It is good to have a group of people that you trust to give you advice. People who you know have your best interests at heart. People that care about you. Also, do your best to be that person to your friends.
To give Godly advice means that you know God. The best way to know God is to read about Him in the Bible. If what you are advising your friends to do is in line with what the Bible says then you can rest assured that you are giving Godly advice. The Bible is full of gems that can help you to help your friends.
Another way to offer Godly advice is to pray to God and ask Him to give you wisdom. It says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” A friend who gives Godly advice takes time to pray before speaking because she understands that her advice could dramatically affect her friend’s life.
Being silent might be the best Godly advice you can give a friend at times. Too often we feel we have to have an answer for everything but sometimes just having a listening ear is all our friend might need. Our unnecessary words could bring confusion or burden our friend and so at times the best advice is no advice at all. Proverbs 17:27-28 puts it quite nicely, “He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”
Being and having a friend who offers Godly advice is valuable, especially in this day and age when anything goes and so much contradictory advice is given from all angles. Make sure you have Godly friends and aim to be a friend who gives Godly advice.
Finally, giving Godly advice also has to do with knowing your friend. Take time to listen before you speak, after all God did give you two ears and only one mouth. Make sure you have all the info you need before advising your friend and take time to understand not only the situation but how she feels about it. Too often us girls jump in with all sorts of advice before we fully understand how our friend feels or what the real problem is. In most situations we need to take our time to get to know our friend, to truly understand them before offering advice.