So, with virtual e-sangha’s and small clusters of likeminded folks, we all encounter spiritual friends and are sometimes called upon to be spiritual friend to others. However it takes a lot of maturity to know how to fulfill that role, and it is good to consider it with care.
I don’t think a spiritual friends job is to teach, he is not the teacher. But at the same time he is not disinterested, he is an observer who has the ability to provide input. He can give hints, but how strongly should he or she word these hints? I think the key is not to disturb the nature of the spiritual friendship.
It is a thin line to walk, in order to help others without being pushy or overly critical or insulting, damaging the relationship. It is very much a question as to how open the other person is, how accepting of your input. It can be very difficult to gauge.