Here is a very helpful article on self-examination. In our church, we celebrate the Lord’s Table weekly and are often faced with the issue self-examination as the Lord requires in 1 Corinthians 11. Self-examination is good, but it can go awry as Jared Mellinger says in his article, “Self Examination Speaks a Thousand Lies.” I’m not particularly fond of the title of Mellinger’s article because the Lord Himself commanded us to enter into self-examination, but he makes some helpful points to keep us from a wrong kind of self-examination,
He quotes Charles Spurgeon:
“Any practice that detracts from faith is an evil practice, but especially that kind of self-examination which would take us away from the cross-foot proceeds in a wrong direction.”
He quotes Thomas Chalmers on the matter saying that he
"... once compared self-examination to a dark room full of objects. We can’t see what is there because the room is pitch black. This darkness is the reason looking at ourselves is often so unfruitful.
How do we brighten the room? Not by straining our eyes or taking more time and effort to examine the darkness. We will never see ourselves clearly simply by focusing more intently on ourselves.
Instead, Chalmers says we must to go to the window and open the curtains. Let the light of Christ break into the darkness of your soul. The sunlight in Chalmers’s image is the truth of God’s word: “If we derive no good from the work of self-examination, because we find that all is confusion and mistiness within,” he says, “then let us go forth upon the truths which are without, and these will pour a flood of light into all the mazes and intricacies of the soul, and, at length, render that work easy, which before was impracticable.”