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In these times of stress and confusion, many individuals feel they are losing control over their jobs, family finances, and even their children.

The Bible says that God gave man "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26). A dictionary defines dominion as "supreme authority, or sovereignty." That says a great deal about our heritage. But what does it really mean?

Many humans have believed mistakenly that this dominion gives us the right to use the earth in whatever way we please. Extinct species, polluted bodies of water, and a deteriorating ozone layer have been some of the results of that philosophy. But dominion involves responsibility; it implies stewardship -- that is, taking care of something that has been given into our keeping, but which is not fundamentally ours.

Christian Science, the discovery of Mary Baker Eddy, explains the Bible's teaching that dominion belongs to God. All the universe is God's. According to the Bible, we have power from God. Authority is part of our spiritual nature. It is never the product of anything material. It is not external to us. Our dominion is inseparable from other Godlike qualities -- kindness, intelligence, and integrity. Real authority cannot be put to selfish or immoral purposes.

Many people today attempt to live their lives with honor and responsibility, but still feel that things are somehow spinning out of control. The answers lie in thought. Dominion begins with thought. We gain control over outward circumstances in our lives only as we gain control over our own thinking.

This control is the opposite of human will. It involves a willingness on our part to bring everything under the authority of God. When we do this without reservation, a sense of peace and of direction always follows -- and the outward circumstances of our lives tend to fall into place.

Our homes, our businesses, even our children, don't really belong to us. Our offspring are, in reality, the sons and daughters of God. To remember this enhances our ability to exercise proper parental authority that includes both love and reasonableness.

In many businesses pressures sometimes seem unbearable. But the same thing holds true. We work because God works. Without Him, we could accomplish nothing worthwhile. We must never forget that it is God who cares for us and for our children, and who supplies us with our ability to work. We can turn to Him for guidance or for comfort at any moment. Real control over our affairs comes from understanding God.

Christ Jesus expressed supreme dominion; by it he healed. He raised the dead. He accomplished even his own victory over death -- in his resurrection. He understood more than perhaps anyone before or since our total dependence upon God. He said he could do nothing by himself, but everything through God's strength. The same is true of us.

As the world approaches the third millennium, it faces a moment of truth. If we attempt to go on conquering and dominating through our own strength and will (because we misperceive dominion to be the same as domination), we will go down into destruction and possibly take much of the living beauty of the earth with us. On the other hand, if we recognize our heritage of dominion, based on our relation to God, life on earth can bloom as never before. Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "The human mind will sometime rise above all material and physical sense, exchanging it for spiritual perception, and exchanging human concepts for the divine consciousness. Then man will recognize his God-given dominion and being" (p. 531).

We must come to understand that we have all identity, all power, and all intelligence from God. This is the legacy He has given us. This is what endows us with dominion over the whole earth.

Thou madest him

to have dominion

over the works of thy hands;

thou hast put all things

under his feet.

Psalms 8:6

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