SCRIPTURES Dealing With Seeking the Counsel of Others

“Balance is what God teaches us —the balance between [scripture] verses that say it is a wise person who seeks the counsel of many others and verses that warn if we listen to too many people we will go astray. Somewhere in between is the balance. God wants us to be open, listen to people with the same value systems, but not follow their direction for our lives too closely; rather, use it cautiously —as counsel in finding God’s direction.” (Dr Larry Burkett, from the book: The Word on Finances)

Acquiring wisdom and knowledge can’t be underestimated in it’s importance when you have vital decisions to make. The Bible says in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” In asking God for wisdom you partner closer to God as you listen first and then take His counsel.

From the scriptures, you can be assured that God will give you the wisdom you need when you lack it, but sometimes He uses other people to also participate with you in this process.

Below you will find scriptures from the Bible (the New American Standard version, unless noted otherwise —the references will be linked to the ESV) which talk about obtaining the counsel of others (both good and bad), giving counsel to others, as well as listening to and obtaining the wisdom and knowledge God can give you as you ask Him for it.

As you read through them pray for the discerning spirit you need to deal with the problem(s) you’re facing, whether you should seek the counsel of men before making your final decision or not.

• How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

• A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5)

• Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. (Proverbs 9:9)

• The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

• Do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:11-12.)

• How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:13-19)

• Wisdom is protection just as money is protection. But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors. (Proverbs 7:12)

• Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 8:32-35)

• Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. (Proverbs 9:7-8)

• Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning. (Proverbs 9:9)

• He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. (Proverbs 10:17 NIV)

• Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 11:14)

• The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)

• He who speaks the truth tells what is right, but a false witness, deceit. (Proverbs 12:17)

• Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18 NIV)

• Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

• Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

• Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom. (Proverbs 13:10)

• Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored. (Proverbs 13:18)

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

• Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge. (Proverbs 14:7)

• The naive believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)

• The naive inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. (Proverbs 14:18)

• A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise. (Proverbs 15:12)

• The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. (Proverbs 15:14)

• Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

• He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. (Proverbs 15:31-32 NIV)

• The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33 NIV)

• How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver. (Proverbs 16:16)

• Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers; blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. (Proverbs 16:20)

• The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)

• He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. (Proverbs 19:8)

• Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. (Proverbs 19:20)

• There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; but the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing. (Proverbs 20:15)

• Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance. (Proverbs 20:18)

• There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. (Proverbs 21:30 NIV)

• Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you. Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you? (Proverbs 22:17-21 NIV)

• Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words. (Proverbs 23:9 NIV)

• Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12 NIV)

• Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22 NIV)

• Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23 NIV)

• By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength. (Proverbs 24:3-5 NIV)

• By wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 24:6)

• Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear. (Proverbs 25:12 NIV)

• Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own (Proverbs 26:17 NIV)

• Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. (Proverbs 27:9-10)

• A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth. (Proverbs 29:3)

• Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

• I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

• A poor, yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction. (Ecclesiastes 4:13)

• Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you —for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others. (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 NIV)

• Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness —and the fool is consumed by his own lips. (Ecclesiastes 10:12 NIV)

• When a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die. Since you did not warn him he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself. (Ezekiel 3:20-21 NIV)

• Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)

• Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV)

• If your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. (Matthew 18:15-17)

• So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)

• Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

• Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2 NIV)

• Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, wither in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17 NIV)

• We command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition, which you received from us. (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

• Now we must ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 NIV)

• See to it that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-13 NIV)

• The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

• I heard the voice of many angels…and the living creatures and the elders saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:11-12)

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28 responses to “SCRIPTURES Dealing With Seeking the Counsel of Others

  1. My fiance and I have come to a religious crossroad. I grew up as Methodist. He has always believed similar. In my spiritual seeking as an young adult, my way of thinking shifted. I now believe in One Creator, the Creator of heaven and earth. My fiance believes in the Trinity. We must go through the Son to get to The Creator.

    Well this has caused us to put our wedding on hold, even though he’s known my belief since day one. I am not afraid of knowledge and increasing it. I feel he is and is not open to the possibility that what he believes isn’t true. I think religion has brought nothing but confusion to the lives of believers. I try to set my self apart from those who believe what the preachers teach, especially if I can’t question them. My fiance is headstrong on what he believes and has turned a deaf ear to my beliefs. Can this work despite of it?

  2. My husband and I have not yet even been married a year. We’ve been a couple almost five years. 3 years ago I found out I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. My husband was furious. We each already had a teenager, and he did not want another child. He told me I had to have an abortion. He was extremely adamant, abusive, angry, and would stop at nothing to try to force the abortion. I refused (I don’t believe in abortion). This became very very bad.

    On top of all this, I was having some major complications with the pregnancy. I was bleeding and needed daily doctors visits. I had to leave my job. We ultimately split up (his choice). Myself and my 14 year old daughter had no where to go because I could not work and I don’t have a huge support network with my family. Luckily we ended up at a friends. Eventually once he realized there was no hope of me having an abortion we began to speak again. Eventually my daughter was born and we moved in together again. It has been challenging.

    My husband who was previously married, never wanted to marry again, but I eventually convinced him it’s the right way to raise a family. It helped that we began attending church together, and he seemed to be changing some, even getting baptized. Unfortunately things have never really changed like I hoped they would. He continues to bring up that I forced having another child and the marriage on him. Also he is both phycologically, emotionally, and physically abusive. He will tell me how stupid and retarded I am all the time, so much so that my two year old has called me retarded. He tells me he’s never seen anyone as dumb as me. I’m so dumb I need a drool cup and a bib.

    He’s never been physically abusive in front of them, but he has in private. Not everyday like the verbal abuse, but enough and more than it should ever happen. Nothing has to be done to provoke it. As he tells me he just hates me more than anyone in his life. He’s never been very attracted to me, and he can’t stand the sight of me. I know he has a lot of hate and animosity towards me for the fact he had another child and is married. He was happy with just him and his son.

    He loves our daughter more than anything, but hates me. I’ve tried praying about the situation, praying for my husband, praying for guidance, being loving, just whatever I can. It doesn’t change things. Not sure what to do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. E.R. Please go through the topic, we have on this web site titled “Abuse in Marriage.” You may even want to reach out to an abuse center that we give links to within that topic. No matter what, your husband has no right to talk to you that way or mishandle you in any way. It’s wrong and you need to learn how to better stay away from that type of abusive behavior. Your husband is hurting you and is teaching your child things that she should never be exposed to… plus your other daughter is being hurt by this, it’s no doubt.

      This needs to change. You don’t deserve this type of abuse… no one does. Please, please, please reach out for help before any more damage is done. I pray things will change for the better for you.

  3. I have a man I’m courting, and I see us getting married this year. We love each other despite our faults (to God be all the glory) but he takes the things of God with levity. He has a weakness which if not surrendered to God, might be an issue (if not divorce) in future. He used to be have a strong relationship with God (well that was when I met him) We are 9 years knowing each other. I liked the way he took God things then, but now his job has made him too busy to be with God (well that is how I see it). Should I keep waiting till he reconnects back to God (even though I always put him in prayers) because I want a man who will be a spiritual leader in my home (since it’s more difficult if the woman is the spiritual one). It will help me to be submissive because I know he won’t act/decide in his own understanding.

  4. I often get asked for advice from a friend who is physically ill, and who has some thinking patterns which are usually “normal” but occasionally way out there. Usually she thanks me for my input. But, sometimes, when I answer her request for an opinion, she gets furious, twists my words all around, and accuses me of saying “I am a success and you are a failure.” She then tells me how much I have hurt her. I take this bait about 1-2x per year. I forget the wise words: “Just because someone asks for my opinion doesn’t mean I have to give it. “Poop does roll downhill.”