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NONE of us need accept labels. For instance, ``You're just like your father/mother/grandmother,'' or ``Oh, it's a family trait, and you're stuck with it.'' Must we conform to the thought patterns and idiosyncrasies of relatives or ancestors? Certainly we can appreciate the good they have expressed. But who wants to be a replica of someone else? Fortunately we don't have to accept heredity or limiting predictions as law in our experience. Instead we can resort to a higher power and authority--our Father-Mother God. How do we do this? We can start to reason from a spiritual instead of a material basis. Looking to the Bible as our guide, we find that Christ Jesus sometimes referred to God as ``my Father'' or ``your Father.'' When the disciples asked him how to pray, he gave them the Lord's Prayer, which begins ``Our Father.'' So we have the divine right to claim our perfect parentage and our relationship to God as His beloved offspring. We can insist through prayer that we're under the jurisdiction of divine law, the law of infinite Love. This law sustains individuality; it supersedes the supposed laws of heredity that would imprison us. If we claim this, and endeavor to reflect the divine nature in all that we think, say, and do, this is effective prayer, which opens the way for progress. We may even discover an unused talent that we can successfully develop to bless our fellowman as well as ourselves. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind and forever reflected. These ideas range from the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God.'' 1 Think of yourself as ``embraced in the infinite Mind'' and not at the mercy of human ancestry. As God's beloved child, each one is destined to express individual identity. If we reason from the basis of an infinite creator, our Father-Mother God, we can see that His creation must also be unlimited. And each individual has a specific place and purpose in that creation. ``Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity,'' 2 Mrs. Eddy writes. In a jigsaw puzzle, each piece must fit into the right place to complete the perfect picture. If we try to force one piece into the wrong place, however nearly right it seems, the picture will never be faultless. So, each of us has an individual identity, a perfect niche in the divine order. There was a strong belief in Biblical times that children must suffer for the sins of their parents. When confronted with this inhuman sentence in the form of a man blind from birth, Christ Jesus' disciples asked him, ``Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?'' Jesus immediately refuted this false law with the words ``Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.'' 3 Jesus knew man as God's blameless offspring, under no law of condemnation, and so he was able to annul the false belief so prevalent at the time and to heal the man of blindness. We don't have to be a duplicate (in fact we can't be), nor are we born under any law of condemnation. As Mrs. Eddy has written, ``Citizens of the world, accept the `glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right.'' 4 1 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 502-503. 2 Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70. 3 John 9:2, 3. 4 Science and Health, p. 227.


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