Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
God comforts us so that we can comfort others with the comfort we received from him. Our trouble doesn’t have to match the trouble of the other person because his comfort is universal, it is effective for any trouble. The comfort that we received from God when people mistreat us is the same comfort he provides for the widow and orphan or soldier in combat. How has God comforted you?
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:31-40)
How we treat each other matters to God. It is easy to love those who bring us joy and pleasure. The real test of Christ-like selfless love is what we do for ‘the least of these.’ Who are our ‘least’? They are those we despise, dislike, and avoid – the last people on earth we want to spend time with. For us, our last is our least. God is honored when we serve them well.