Sin constitutes disease. We need not look beyond the Gospel for an example.
The crowds assumed without warrant that Jesus’ miracles stemmed from a demonic presence. Luke 11:15. Hence, Jesus, in His infinite intelligence, with unassailable logic, employed reductio ad absurdum—reducing their scurrilous label of Him as empowered by Beelzebub to ridiculousness.
He eviscerated their flawed inference by demonstrating the absurdity of “evil divided against itself,” an allegedly evil man casting away demons without evidentiary support. Matthew 12:24-29; Luke 11:17-20.
But I digress. Pardon the puerile periphrasis; my pretentious prolix possibly another reference of pathological pride (self-deprecating tone intended here). If anyone laughs, all the boasting to Christ for my sophomoric sense of humor (Of course, I assume, even conflate, an inextricable link between laughter and humor here).
Okay, that last parenthetical phrase might put the dumb in adumbrated since I signify nothing of substance. Hopefully, it generates thought. Enough of the discursive digressions! To instantiate this point, perhaps on a more tangible, visceral level, please consider the following contemporary example of pathological pride.
The other day I visited Barnes & Noble. We drove through the Barnes lot to look for a parking spot. Mind you, I remained a passenger the entire time. While seeking a parking space, one woman impetuously chose to open her car door. She opened the door to exit almost conterminously with us in an immediately adjacent parking space. It all happened so fast. Our paths intersected; pun intended.
This woman came dangerously close to losing a limb along with her car door detaching from the car’s hinge. She simply opened her door at the wrong timing. We immediately let go of the issue, dismissing her desultory decision as passé. Frankly, I nearly forgot the occurrence before proceeding into Barnes. However, not this disgruntled woman—who later made a point to express her grievance.
I next entered Barnes, approached the customer service area, inquired about some books, and politely requested some assistance locating them. As I stood there, a livid lady off to the right in this customer service area stared my way with her grumpy grimace. As she recognized me, I suddenly remembered her from earlier. Who else, but the notorious door-swinger? While minding my business, the woman in a cantankerous, curmudgeonly tenor snapped at me, “Do you realize that had I moved my door any further you guys would have taken it off?”
At the time, I unwittingly shrugged and replied, “I’m sorry.” Later, I thought, wouldn’t it have been clever had I thought to say at that moment, “I’m so sorry. Let us pour new wine into new wineskins.” Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:2? But perhaps Jesus humbled me.
Unlike this poor lost lady who dwelled on past events, “the former things have passed away,” with each moment offering, “a new creation of Christ in me.” Isaiah 43:18 & 65:17; Revelation 21:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
I noticed the frustration welling inside her. Before departing the customer service area, I shined the love of Christ on her with a sanguine smile and said, “A most blessed day to you.” With that she snidely retorted, “Oh, you must be a Liberty Student.” I then answered, “Actually, I no longer attend Liberty.” Yet, again, Christ humbled me. When the exchange later surfaced to my conscious mind, I laughed and said to myself, “Gee, I could have said, ‘you neglect the assumption that some ostensible Christians who live in Lynchburg may not attend Liberty University.’” I just chuckled, because in Christ, we leave it all behind, “forgetting the past, straining forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13.
As Jesus said, “Whoever puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.” Luke 9:62. Hence, I use this example, not with any backward focus, but rather to reference the diseased mentality of sin—at its quintessence—pathological pride. Why? Life experience illuminates the Scripture. Jesus calls us as luminous “lights of the word,” not to capitulate in cowardice by storing our light under a basket. Matthew 5:15.
No; we expose the truth with our loving light for all to see. Wisdom awakens in ordinary life from a heart attuned to the Holy Spirit. Consider the diseased psyche when sin overtakes a person’s mental state. The woman’s lack of presence, inability to relinquish past mundane events, culminated consequently in a pathological pride manifest from her obstreperous outbursts. This pathological pride caused her not only to lose all sense of rationale, exhibiting flawed reasoning, but the overgeneralization and caustic tone revealed further prejudice. At minimum, her splenetic reaction showed a prejudice from past events about either Christians and/or Liberty University Christians. Why? She reacted based on past events—either from the parking lot event and/or subsequent responses, i.e., “blessings”, if not other past encounters, possibly with others.
The disease of sin overtook her acumen at that moment. She relegated herself to that of a diseased animal much like Nebuchadnezzar, or the supercilious Pharisees in their sanctimonious accusations from our foregoing example. The common thread: sin consumed each of these individuals as to incapacitate their logical abilities.
This woman, as with all of us sinners, NEED JESUS—to heal us from our dreadful disease. If we adopt the conclusion, “all have fallen short from the grace of God,” it logically follows as an assumption that sin’s disease plagues everyone. Romans 3:23.
But Jesus offers the panacea to our pathology. Christ in His omniscience proclaimed, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17. The assumption here is that Christ, as our Spiritual Physician, came for everyone, because sin plagues all, since all fall short from God’s grace. But pride goes before destruction. Proverbs 16:8.
The stupid see danger, refuse correction, and suffer for their sin. Proverbs 12:1; 27:12. The price of sin yields death. Romans 6:23. Destruction awaits all who refuse treatment, and let their sinful sickness erode their emaciated souls. Repent, for the time is near. Matthew 3:2; 4:17. “As you have you done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your head.” Obadiah 6:15. Therefore, treat others with respect, lest you reap the death of your pathological pride. Luke 6:31; Galatians 6:7.