DOMINATION comes in many forms. But whatever its guise, it is always wrong.
Early in his career my husband worked for a man who was dictatorial, unpredictable, and sometimes irrational. To make matters worse, both my husband and his supervisor were armed with revolvers because they worked for a housing police department responsible for public safety in a high-crime area.
At first my husband went to work fearing he'd be given a senseless command that would endanger him and others. But within a few weeks he and another sergeant began to see how they could protest against the supervisor's domination. They didn't argue with him verbally, but they did begin to pray. My husband (a Christian Scientist) and his colleague (a Baptist) began sharing Bible verses on a daily basis, seeking in the Scriptures confirmation of man's safety and freedom under God's government.
Gradually progress became apparent. My husband, his colleague, and the twenty-two officers under them found they were able to work effectively--and safely. Eventually the domineering lieutenant's unstable behavior became known in a harmless, but surprising, way and he was moved to another job.
Domination of one individual by another has no foundation in the Scriptures. And understanding our relationship to God, divine Spirit, gives us freedom from such oppression. Christ Jesus was constantly aware of his relationship to divine Spirit. He understood who he was: the Son of God, ever in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Because of Jesus' conscious unity with divine Love, he was able to teach his followers-- including us today--to discover their own oneness with God as His offspring.
The Apostle Paul understood well what Jesus taught about each individual's indelible spiritual relationship to God. Writing to the Galatians, he explains: "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. You and I, heirs of God through Christ? Maybe this idea is hard to accept. But through earnest prayer, Christ--the true idea of sonship that Jesus exem plified--becomes more real. We begin to give up the material view of ourselves as vulnerable mortals and accept something of our genuine relationship to Deity as His incorporeal offspring.
Christian Science, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, explains the idea of man's unity with God and shows that each of us actually expresses the nature of God as divine Spirit. Man's individual nature--wholly good--derives from God much the way sunlight radiates from the sun. Our being is thus God-created and God-sustained. Discerning something of man's spiritual identity, which is completely dependent on divine Spirit, gives us a glimpse of how unnatural--even impossible--it is for one person to
dominate another. It's as preposterous as one ray of sunlight trying to redirect another. As Mrs. Eddy states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Man is tributary to God, Spirit, and to nothing else. God's being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss.
The key to gaining and keeping our freedom from domination is understanding our relationship to God as His precious spiritual offspring. Through prayer and Christian discipleship, we can waken to our heritage as sons and daughters of divine Spirit. As we're more sure of the God-centered radiance of our spiritual being, no one can possibly overshadow us.