A photo of a person reading the Bible, with a counselor sitting beside them, engaged in a deep conversation, symbolizing the guidance and support offered through biblical counseling.

What Does The Bible Say About Counseling?

Counseling is an important part of the Christian faith. The Bible has a lot to say about counseling others and receiving counsel ourselves.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible encourages counseling others with wisdom, grace and truth. It also tells us to seek godly counsel when we need guidance or help.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the many bible verses about counseling and receiving counsel. We will look at what the bible says about the kind of counsel we should give and receive. We will also discuss biblical principles for counseling others and examine bible characters who were counselors.

Biblical Principles for Counseling Others

Speak with Wisdom, Grace and Truth

When counseling others, it is important to speak with wisdom, grace and truth, just as Jesus did (John 1:14). We should ask God for wisdom (James 1:5), be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19), and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

Our words should impart grace to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:29). As Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Counsel from God’s Word

The Bible should be our source of counsel because it is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). God’s Word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).

When counseling others, we should help them apply biblical truths and principles to their specific situations. As Psalm 119:24 says, “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Counsel with Discernment

When counseling others, we need to have discernment to understand their situations properly. We should pray for discernment (Philippians 1:9-10) and listen carefully before offering advice (Proverbs 18:13). It’s important to have insight into human nature and the root causes of issues.

As 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

Counsel with Compassion and Humility

When counseling others, we should be compassionate and humble, remembering that we too are imperfect people in need of God’s grace. We should clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).

Our attitude should be like that of Christ, who did not come to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). We too should seek to restore others gently, being mindful of our own weaknesses (Galatians 6:1-2).

As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Seeking Godly Counsel for Ourselves

Ask Trustworthy and Godly Advisors

When facing difficult life decisions, we should seek counsel from Christians who exhibit the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Choose mature believers who know the Bible, walk closely with God, and demonstrate integrity in their personal lives.

“Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked” (Psalm 1:1), so exercise discernment when deciding who to consult. Ask the Lord to guide you to advisors who offer biblically-based wisdom rather than just opinions.

Be Humble and Teachable

Approach wise counselors with humility, recognizing your need for godly input. Enter such discussions ready to listen, rather than just presenting your own arguments. “Let a righteous man strike me–it is a kindness; let him rebuke me–it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5).

Be willing to hear hard truths and receive correction. This teachable attitude allows the Holy Spirit to speak through others to provide clarity and reveal blind spots.

Test All Counsel Against Scripture

The Bible must be the ultimate measuring stick for evaluating any advice given. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

If counsel contradicts God’s Word or encourages sinful behavior, reject it. God’s wisdom is perfect and will never fail us. Also beware of guidance that seeks to manipulate emotions apart from biblical truth.

Pray for Wisdom and Discernment

Above all, pray for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and discernment when seeking counsel from others. We need God’s help to filter out poor advice or corrupt motives. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).

Ask the Lord to make His voice of truth ring out clearly when you seek input from Christian advisors. Their role is to confirm His leading, not replace it.

Bible Characters Who Were Counselors


Moses was a great counselor and leader for the Israelites. After being called by God to lead His people out of Egypt, Moses often had to settle disputes, give advice, and correct bad behavior among the Israelites.

One example is when Moses counseled the people not to grumble against God after they were hungry and thirsty in the wilderness (Exodus 16-17). Moses displayed patience, wisdom and discernment in counseling the Israelites. His close relationship with God enabled him to lead and guide the people well.

Moses sets a great example of counseling with truth, grace and reliance on God.


Deborah was an amazing counselor and judge over Israel during a time of oppression. As a prophetess and leader, many Israelites would come to Deborah for guidance and settling disputes. When Barak was fearful to lead the Israelites into battle, Deborah wisely counseled him and encouraged him to have faith in God (Judges 4-5).

Deborah also beautifully counseled the people through a victory song after the defeat of Sisera and the Canaanites. She powerfully reminded the people of God’s faithfulness and sovereignty. Deborah shows how to counsel and lead others with courage, faith and praise.


The prophet Samuel played a key role as a counselor during Israel’s transition from judges to kings. As a young boy, Samuel learned to listen to God’s voice and instructions. As Samuel grew, he counseled and judged Israel in righteousness (1 Samuel 3:20).

When the Israelites asked for a king, Samuel wisely counseled them about the perils of kings ruling over them, while still giving them what they asked for according to God’s leading (1 Samuel 8). Samuel grieved over Saul’s disobedience as king, but also gave him guidance.

He anointed young David and counseled him to wait on God’s timing. Samuel exemplifies wise, discerning counseling while following God’s will.


Nathan the prophet was known for boldly counseling King David. When David sinned grievously by committing adultery and murder, Nathan confronted him through a story and analogy. This allowed David to see his sin rightly, leading him to repentance (2 Samuel 12:1-13).

Rather than ignoring the issue out of fear, Nathan spoke truth. As a godly counselor, Nathan knew when compassion and when firmness was needed. He continued to counsel and advise David throughout his reign. Nathan teaches that correction should be done in love to point people back to God.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ sets the ultimate example of biblical counseling. During His earthly ministry, Jesus offered compassion, convicted people of sin, taught truth and counseled many individuals. In the woman caught in adultery, Jesus corrected with grace saying “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

With Nicodemus, Christ counseled him about salvation and being born again (John 3). Through parables, the Sermon on the Mount, and personal encounters, Jesus offered the perfect model of counseling – pointing people to repentance and the Kingdom of God.

As Christian counselors, we must emulate His heart and wisdom.


In conclusion, the Bible has much to say about giving and receiving counsel. Godly counsel is rooted in scripture, given in love, and leads others closer to Christ. Seeking wise counsel demonstrates humility and enables us to make better decisions.

As we counsel biblically and pursue godly counsel, we honor God and benefit those around us.

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