Kevin Menezes

Loved and Saved by God alone to Love and Serve God alone.


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The War Within

peaceTry this in your mind. Think about one person you could happily do without. This person could be someone from your own family, your neighborhood, your workplace, your school…it doesn’t matter. This person is a real pain in the a** and bothers you so much that you are certain your world would be better if this person wasn’t in it.

Have you identified your antagonist? Great! Now answer the next question: Does this person share your faith and practice the same religion as you?

If you answered yes, you are in the right place. Please continue reading.

I tried this exercise with my Sunday School Class during a discussion on religion and war. I was trying to show them that, contrary to what we think, people who practice other religions are NOT the problem. To their surprise, nearly all my students discovered that their biggest “enemy” was someone from their own faith.

Regardless of your religion, I can almost guarantee that nearly 70% of you would have discovered the same thing.

The reason there are so many conflicts over religion today is because devil has hoodwinked the world into thinking that all our problems are caused by people of one faith or the other. Depending on your age and the part of the world you live in, you’ve probably nursed the idea that your world would be better off without Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. But the fact – like some of you just discovered – is that most of your problems are neither caused by people from other communities, nor by folk with divergent political views.

According to the Bible, war and strife are caused by the conflict WITHIN the human soul. The primary triggers are PRIDE, GREED and ENVY. The Book of James is explicit about this. It asks: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.” (James 4:1,2)

That’s why even in supposedly Christian countries like the United Kingdom, the Protestants and Catholics have been at each other for centuries. In the predominantly Muslim Middle East, Sunnis and Shias are happily blowing each other up. In India, Hindus were fighting caste wars long before the Mughals and Europeans showed up. In predominantly Jewish Israel, the Reform and Orthodox movements continue to confront each other over religious, social, political and ethnic issues.

So, if you think all of the world’s problems would magically disappear if you got rid of all the Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, Hitler had a similar idea about the Jews not so long ago and we all know how that turned out. If you are thinking along those lines too, what does that say about you?

All of us want PEACE. And we want it so badly that we are willing to fight great wars for it. We FIGHT so that we can have PEACE. You see the paradox?

If you really want world peace, first stop the war within.

Great wars begin from little wars, often kindled at home. Great peace also begins at home, often with a smile.


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War & The Butterfly Effect

Five years of civil war has torn Syria apart. Countless lives have been lost, families ripped apart, childhoods snatched, the economy destroyed. Syrians are finding out the hard way that in war there are no victors — everybody loses.

Funny thing is what’s happening in Syria and Iraq could happen anywhere in the world, even in our neighborhood. That’s why we must always strive for peace. But how do we do that? Can a handful of people thousands of miles away from the epicenter of conflict bring world peace? The answer is YES.

Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect?

The Butterfly Effect is the notion that the tiny flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. In other words, if you change even the smallest of life’s details, you completely change its outcome. That means everything we say and do can affect our surroundings and the world at large for either good or bad.

Consider Jesus, for example. Jesus was just one man. He spent his whole life in and around Israel, moving within a 200 km radius. Yet, what he said and did 2000 years ago has affected billions of lives across the centuries and continues to do so to this very day. 

By that logic, all of us – even you – can do your bit to bring increase peace. Yes you — as small and insignificant as you may think you are — you can bring world peace.

How?!

Start with your OWN home.

Try your best to keep your spouse, your kids and parents happy. Love your wife and remain true to her. Respect your parents. Be nice to your kids.

Your spouse and kids will carry the ripple effect of what you achieved at home to their workplace and school, positively impacting the people they hang out with. You can start something good at home that will circle the globe several times.

Be good, do good. If all of us did just one thing to make our home a happier place, we would not have any wars anywhere in the world.

War looks good in movies, but sucks in real life. That’s why the Bible exhorts us: “never pay back evil for evil. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. (And) if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” (Romans 12:17,18). It commands us to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; (for) without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

What goes around, come around. If you do not strive for peace, you WILL reap war and everything that war brings – death, desolation, poverty, misery. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7).

So, if you really love your family, your wife and kids, and you want them to be safe, strive for peace. Remember, great wars start from little wars — often kindled at home. Great peace also starts at home — often with a smile.