Yeah, you may be right. For some they may help, for others they may do harm depending on factors. For those who are lax in their judgment of evil they may help, but for those who are scrupulous they do harm. Always though an examination should be honest, simple, brief and calm. We should call to mind, I think, God's judgment upon on sins, but never forget the mercy. I think it can be a hard line to draw. I do not hold the universalism that some Orthodox and some of the Fathers even held, but I do think it is important not to get to hung up on God's wrathful judgments. I read a good article the other day that talked about how some Christians seem to take pleasure in the idea of most people going to burn in hell. If most people do it is sad and we should not take pleasure in it. I do believe the blessed have joy in the punishment of the wicked, but not a joy in their torments but in the justice done to them. I think the reason for eternal damnation is not some angry God who must be satisfied but that some refuse to turn to good. I think that at the hour of our death we shall see ourselves and good and evil for what they really are. Mercy shall call us and if we have a merciful and forgiving spirit in life and were not malicious we have a better chance of being saved. Those who had a merciless and unforgiving spirit will find salvation harder. Also sins of the flesh like fornication and adultery are deadly sins we might say but it is the spirit in which we look at them that matters. If we have sorrow, even if not perfect, there is hope. But if we are proud like some are in their sins of the flesh it will be harder.
That is one reason I have the picture of Snape as my avatar because he was part of something out of many problems within. But when it led to the murder of the woman he truly loved he felt guilt and sorrow his whole life. He was bitter towards Harry Potter because Harry's mother, his childhood and school friend, chose Harry's father over him to marry. But he still, deep down, cared for Harry because of his love for Harry's mother and spent his whole life risking his life for the boy. Snape, who was always nasty to Harry asked Harry to look into his eyes to remember the eyes of Harry's mother before he died and say, "You have your mother's eyes" which to Snape were eyes of kindness and love. In that moment I think, dying, he was able to find peace in himself for all the wrongs he had done. Voldermort on the other hand mocked the love Harry had for his parents and the love Snape had for Harry's mother.