I once heard Paul Tripp say in a message that mankind is often most blind to our own spiritual blindness. His point was that, as we examine reality around us, we have the hardest time seeing our own flaws. In our own assessment, we have a very difficult time assessing whether we personally have gone off track.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Solomon saw the same thing. A man, left to himself, will assume all of his own ways to be right. He will give himself credit for good motives. He will assume that his reasoning is sound. And he will be blind to data that could challenge his position.
But Solomon also shows us that the Lord is the one who truly tests the heart. You see, it is not the confidence of the man that his position is sound that makes his position sound. Instead, it is the measure of God that determines whether a person’s view or actions are OK.
Christians, this is why you need three things in your life. First, you need a genuine relationship with God. You need to be prayerful. You need to be participating in formal acts of worship that shift your perspective.
Second, you need a relationship with the local church. If you are not actively committed to your local church, you are missing out on one of the most important ways that the Lord will use to help you see the flaws in your own self-confidence. God uses other believers to sharpen us. God uses wise believers to force us to rethink positions that seemed obvious to us. God uses godly people to show us how we are not living up to a godly standard. God uses the practices of the church to force us to think with an eternal perspective.
And thirdly, though not any less importantly, you need submission to the word of God. It is the Scripture that measures you and me to show us where our views are actually those of the Lord. Scripture tells us how to think about things like justice and righteousness. Scripture shows us how to handle accusations against others. Scripture teaches us about the hard issues related to gender, sexuality, the home, the church, the government, drunkenness, marriage, and the like. Scripture teaches us what pleases and what dishonors the Lord.
If left to ourselves, it will be natural for you and me to assume our ways are right. After all, if an idea comes into our heads, and we measure them by our own standards, we are going to typically approve of our own wisdom. But the Lord tests our hearts. He uses the Holy Spirit, the church, and his word to show us when our ideas match his and when they do not. And if we fail to love the Lord, participate in the church, and study the word, we will have ideas and ways that displease the Lord. And what is worse, we will not even know it.