There is so much in the Bible regarding godly advice and counsel, that entire books like Job and Proverbs were dedicated to it. The Bible alone is a fascinating manual for godly counsel, because it is God’s Words to us for all eternity. Not just to be read, but to be studied and obeyed.
All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. [2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV]
This means that the foundation of all scripture (God’s Word, the Bible) is spoken from God to the prophets and apostles and written down by them for all time. It is useful and rewarding for:
- Doctrine – teaches us what is right.
- Reproof – teaches us what is wrong.
- Correction – teaches us how to get right if we are on the wrong path.
- Instruction in righteousness – teaches us how to stay on the right path of holiness and godliness.
So that the man of God will be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. The word for thoroughly was originally throughly, to signify a change on the inside that is exemplified on the outside. The Bible changes people inside out – the entire person.
There are many verses that talk about godly counsel. It is important to get a multitude of counselors, because not one person should be making decisions (Proverbs 11:14, 13:10, 15:21). Companies, governments, and religious institutions that have board members of different opinions is very important. But like you said, it is even more important to have godly counsel.
I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. [Psalm 16:7 NKJV] You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me [to] glory. [Psalm 73:24 NKJV] The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. [Isaiah 11:2 NKJV] This also comes from the LORD of hosts, [Who] is wonderful in counsel [and] excellent in guidance. [Isaiah 28:29 NKJV] You are] great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes [are] open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings. [Jeremiah 32:19 NKJV]
But even though you may have a multitude of counselors, it is important where that counsel comes from. The Bible also teaches us about bad counsel. Job’s friends were giving him counsel that was not according to God’s character or nature. That’s why Job called them, “miserable comforters” and focused their counseling on the bad that Job must have done and offered all sorts of possibilities for why he was suffering instead of focusing on who God is.
You also have evil counsel. The most notorious is where Adam’s wife in the Garden of Eden listened to the evil counsel of the serpent instead of God and brought sin and death into the world (Genesis chapter 3). Also the Midianite women who caused the children of Israel to receive evil counsel from Balaam (Numbers 31:12–24). Whole chapters like 2 Peter 2 are dedicated to warning the reader about destructive doctrines and false teachers.
Even the people who are closest to us like our own friends can sway us away from godly counsel and do evil things. King Rehoboam ignored the advice of the elders of his father Solomon and listened rather to his young friends and caused the people to rebel and caused calamity to fall against the house of David (2 Chronicles 10:1–19). Even the family members in our own household can affect us in making bad decisions (2 Chronicles 22:2–9) and was the downfall of King Ahaziah.
That is probably the main reason why getting advice from social media is not good. All too frequently people are telling each other what to do and not to do: which is not according to God’s Word. Most people give advice to get something in return. Others like to offer their free advice and put in their two cents. The Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson even quoted,
“Social media made you all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.”Mike Tyson
That’s true. People write things online to each other that they would never say to their face. If they did, as Mike Tyson stated – they would get popped in the mouth for it. Probably the reason why God didn’t create us with the ability to read minds or know what other people think.
But honestly, did it start with social media? I think it ended with social media, but certainly didn’t start with it. Communicating with people and sharing opinions not face to face has been around for thousands of years. Starting with letters and the written word, then to telephone hearing the other person, to now the internet. It has increased rapidly behind the computer screen with messaging and email. This trouble multiplied in chat rooms with people who you associated with and had similar interests brought out the worst in people. This brought an audience to what people said to each other and turned friendly chat rooms into a game like Survivor, making friends into enemies and causing chaos. Facebook didn’t start it – they just perfected it.