The bias on the side of self

Proverbs 18:17

This proverb touches human life at many points, and human beings feel it touching them. It accords with common experience. It is true to nature--nature fallen and distorted. It does not apply to humanity in innocence. It has no bearing on the new nature in a converted man. This Scripture reveals a crook in the creature that God made upright. Self-love is the twist in the heart within, and self-interest is the side to which the variation from righteousness steadily tends. A man’s interest is touched by the word or deed of another; forthwith he persuades himself that what is against his own wish is also against righteousness, and argues accordingly. He states his own case, but he leans over to one side, and sees every-fixing in a distorted form. His case is both a sin and a blunder. In the statement of your case do you permit a selfish desire for victory to turn your tongue aside from the straight line of truth? There is room for improvement here, and improvement here would tell upon the world. If a man can detect exaggerations on one side and concealments on the other, amounting to untruthfulness in their general effect, it shows that the fear of God was not before the eyes of the witness when he omitted his evidence. To walk with God in the regeneration is the short and sure way to rigid truth in all your intercourse with men. The adversary will find nothing if a greater than he has been there before him.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)