This is the third part of this series on what to look for when choosing wise counsel. A Biblical Counselor does intensive discipleship, therefore she must be a person of godly character for she speaks into the life of the person she is ministering to.
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NASB)
She should be an example in her speech; truthful and kind, without the foul language that is so common today (Ephesians 4:25- 29).
Her conduct should be fitting for a Christian. She should be virtuous, faithful to her husband or faithful in abstaining from sexual immorality of any kind. She should demonstrate inward and outward discipline, and be winsome and gracious in her dealings with people.
These qualities are so important when choosing counsel for yourself, I cannot state that strong enough!
A wise counselor will be a good listener. This may not mean she sits quietly while you talk on and on, but it should mean that she listens with understanding.
A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Proverbs 20:5 (NASB)
Listening not only to what is being said, but having the ability to discern the heart level thoughts, beliefs, and desires behind what is being said.
On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found. Proverbs 10:13a (NASB)
Once she discerns what is really being communicated, a wise counselor will be equipped to ask probing questions that will help her counselee see her thoughts, beliefs, and desires of the heart with new and spiritual eyes. She will assist you with understanding how the truth of God's Word is applied to your heart and life, and she will lead you in the paths of righteousness because that is what glorifies God.
When interviewing a potential counselor, ask her what her goals are for you. If she is worth her weight in salt she will be able to tell you that he goal is to teach you how to glorify God in your heart and life, to experience heart change for life change.
Anyone can give advice....seek wise counsel instead.