In the following passage from the book ‘That Incredible Christian’ A.W. Tozer helps us to look critically at ourselves. A way to move us in the right direction:
“Self-knowledge is so critically important to us in our pursuit of God and His righteousness that we lie under heavy obligation to do immediately whatever is necessary to remove the disguise and permit our real selves to be known.
It is one of the supreme tragedies in religion that so many of us think so highly of ourselves when the evidence lies all on the other side; and our self-admiration effectively blocks out any possible effort to discover a remedy for our condition. Only the man who knows he is sick will go to a physician.
Now, our true moral and spiritual state can be disclosed only by the Spirit and the Word. The final judgment of the heart is God’s. (..)
It remains for us to know ourselves as accurately as possible. For this reason I offer some rules for self-discovery; and if the results are not all we could desire they may be at least better than none at all.
We may be known by the following:
1. What we want most
We have but to get quiet, recollect our thoughts, wait for the mild excitement within us to subside, and then listen closely for the faint cry of desire. Ask your heart, What would you rather have than anything else in the world? Reject the conventional answer. Insist on the true one, and when you have heard it you will know the kind of person you are.
2. What we think about most
The necessities of life compel us to think about many things, but the true test is what we think about voluntarily. It is more than likely that our thoughts will cluster about our secret heart treasure, and whatever that is will reveal what we are. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
3. How we use our money
Again we must ignore those matters about which we are not altogether free. We must pay taxes and provide the necessities of life for ourselves and family, if any. That is routine, merely, and tells us little about ourselves. But whatever money is left to do with as we please—that will tell us a great deal indeed. Better listen to it.
4. What we do with our leisure time
A large share of our time is already spoken for by the exigencies of civilized living, but we do have some free time. What we do with it is vital. Most people waste it staring at the television, listening to the radio, reading the cheap output of the press or engaging in idle chatter. What I do with mine reveals the kind of man I am.
5. The company we enjoy
There is a law of moral attraction that draws every man to the society most like himself. “Being let go, they went to their own company.” Where we go when we are free to go where we will is a near infallible index of character.
6. Whom and what we admire
I have long suspected that the great majority of evangelical Christians, while kept somewhat in line by the pressure of group opinion, nevertheless have a boundless, if perforce secret, admiration for the world. We can learn the true state of our minds by examining our unexpressed admirations. Israel often admired, even envied, the pagan nations around them, and so forgot the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the law and the promises and the fathers. Instead of blaming Israel let us look to ourselves.
7. What we laugh at
No one with a due regard for the wisdom of God would argue that there is anything wrong with laughter, since humor is a legitimate component of our complex nature. Lacking a sense of humor we fall that much short of healthy humanity. But the test we are running here is not whether we laugh or not, but what we laugh at. Some things lie outside the field of pure humor. No reverent Christian, for instance, finds death funny, nor birth nor love. No Spirit-filled man can bring himself to laugh at the Holy Scriptures, or the Church which Christ purchased with His own blood, or prayer or righteousness or human grief or pain. And surely no one who has been even for a brief moment in the presence of God could ever laugh at a story involving the Deity.”