We have been told many times over that "Good Listeners are good counselors." This is somewhat true. Let me explain. I think it is vitally important for people to have good listening skills. If you are wanting to solve any type of conflict in a marriage or any numerous types of situations,...you have got to listen. Shut your stink'n trap and listen. Several times in the Bible we are see examples of God telling people to listen.
Job is probably a classical example, Job 40.
Either way, a good listener is valuable. But it is not the only thing you need.
A counselor is just that, it is a person who through a gift of God has wisdom to impart, primarily through Scripture. They listen intently. Engage in the issue. Prayerfully consider, and then...RESPOND. This doesn't mean that the counselor then rants or points out all flaws and shows no mercy to the counslee, but let's not kid ourselves in believing that a 'good venting session' is all we want. If that is the case, Major (my lovely white lab) is a certified counselor.
We all need more than just a wall to bounce our complaints. If our own counsel is what desire, I think we can see the folly of this logic. This leads to two major decisions:
1. When you go to see counsel or advice: Share your heart. Expose your fears and limitations. Tell the truth of the facts that have lead you to this point. Understand that you are limited in scope. Then shut your trap.
2. As the one someone comes to for advice: Listen intently. Engage appropriately, but do not be the lazy counselor who only 'bounces' their feelings back. MAN UP! and say something that has Scriptural integrity. Give the wisdom that they seek. Understand that you are not infallible and humble yourself to help.
Bottomline: Seek advice from those you know who are kind enough to truly care, but tough enough to speak truth to you.