Giving Godly Counsel .. Please take this as coming to you from God .. Our Most High God and heavenly father of Our Lord Jesus Christ ..
As St. Paul might say it .. "Concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another" (Rom. 15:14).
Scripture is the ONLY SOURCE .. of godly counsel. In recent years the question of who is competent to counsel has become an important issue in the modern day church .. and all kinds of "denominations" .. even "religions" .. look at the world we are living in today and what so many are saying - gay marriage, same-sex marriages, ISIS, ISIL, Muslims, 7th day Adventists, The Catholic Church and the Pope .. Many pastors and other leaders have curtailed their counseling ministries or stopped them altogether .. WHY?
They've been made to feel inadequate for not having formal training in psychological counseling techniques .. secular and worldly counselers always making the not so subtle implications that that the Holy Spirit and Scripture are incapable of addressing the deepest needs of the human heart .. and of men and their problems. It is claimed that only secular psychology dispensed by trained analysts can do that - HOGWASH! .. the truth is, the heart of man is "more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9). No one. That includes humanistic counselors. Verse 10 says, "I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind." Only God can understand the human heart.
David prayed, "O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thought from afar. Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. . . . Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?" (Ps. 139:1-3, 7).
Only God knows what's in a person's heart. Only His Spirit working through His Word can penetrate one's deepest thoughts and motives to transform the heart and renew the mind (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 12:2)... all the professional psychologists in the world are no substitute for spiritually gifted people who know the Word, possess godly wisdom, are full of goodness, and available to help others apply divine truth to their lives (Rom. 15:14).
When people come to you for counsel, the best thing you can do is show them what God's Word says about their problem and how it applies to their situation. But you can't do that unless you know the Word and are allowing it to do its work in you first. Then you'll be in a position to counsel others more effectively.