Deepers x 3 (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“Deepers x 3”

I quickly typed an email to be sent to one of the tissue processing labs with whom my laboratory partners. This brief message informs the lab to retrieve the tissue block and cut additional sections, deeper into the block, to produce additional microscope slides, in this case, three of them. Here is an example of a histotechnologist cutting the tissue block on a specialized instrument known as a microtome to obtain these deeper sections. These sections are sometimes as thin as 4 microns (a micron is 1/1000 of a millimeter)!

Source: University of Mississippi Medical Center

Whenever a dermatopathologist or surgical pathologist orders deeper sections on a block, it is with the intention that the initial sections did not have sufficient information to render an unequivocal diagnosis. The answer may literally be hidden in the tissue block, only to be revealed by cutting additional deeper sections. Here is an example of a microscope slide with deeper sections. 


There have been numerous published studies demonstrating the merit of obtaining deeper sections when the initial review of the microscope slide is non-diagnostic or equivocal. In fact, it is routine practice for most histopathology labs to provide deeper sections of all cases, anticipating that diagnostic changes will most likely be present on these additional deeper sections. In spite of this proactive stance, I still order deeper sections on my routine cases and perhaps as much as 20% of the time, the deeper sections will reveal diagnostic information or a diagnosis which was not evident on the initial sections.

What is true for tissue sections is also true with issues of spiritual discernment. How many times have I heard something that sounded like Christianity but only upon deeper inspection, did I realize that an entirely different interpretation was being spewed? This has been an issue since the beginning of Christianity as the following passage illustrates. 

…that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)

During the nascent years of the Christian Church, the Apostle Paul warned his young protege, Timothy, of the dangers of people who act religious but upon deeper inspection, are against God and everything that Jesus Christ taught. What was true thousands of years ago is even more true today. There are numerous pastors and self-proclaimed prophets who preach a religion that resembles Christianity but upon deeper analysis, is opposed to the basic tenets of Christian faith. They exalt the supremacy of man’s achievements by diminishing or ignoring the power of God. They seek to divide people based upon their political or cultural views rather than encouraging ways to bring all into the Church, the Body of Christ. They teach that God is only blessing you if you are rich and prosperous, eschewing the teachings that the blessings of God are far greater and unimaginable than mere wealth and possessions. 

How desperately we need to examine a deeper section of all who proclaim the Word of God as Truth!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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