1 We make known to you, brethren, God's gracious gift, which has been given in the churches of Macedonia; 2 that under an afflicting trial, their overflowing joy, and their deep poverty, abounded to the riches of their liberality; 3 for I testify that according to their power, and beyond their power, they gave voluntarily, 4 beseeching us, with much entreaty, that they might give, and take part in the ministering to the saints; 5 and they did this, not only as we had hoped, but they gave them selves first to the Lord, and then to us, through the will of God; 6 so that we exhorted Titus, that, as he had previously begun, so he would bring to an end this gift among you also. 7 Now as you excel in every thing, in faith, and in speech, and in knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us, see that you excel in this gift also.
8 I do not speak this as a commandment, but on account of the zeal of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet, for your sakes, he became poor, that you, through his poverty, might become rich. 10 And I give my judgment in this matter; for this is profitable for you, who began not only to do, but to show a willing mind, a year ago. 11 Now, therefore, perfect also the doing of this; that as there was a readiness of mind to be willing, so also there may be an accomplishment of the doing, out of that which you have. 12 For if there is a readiness of mind, one is accepted according to what he has, not according to what he has not. 13 For I do not intend that there shall be relief to others, and affliction to you; but that, according to equality, your abundance, at the present time, may supply their wants; 14 and that, at a future time, their abundance may supply your wants; that there may be equality, 15 as it is written: He that gathered much had nothing over; and he that gathered little did not lack.
16 But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care for you in the heart of Titus: 17 for he accepted my exhortation, and, being more earnest, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him the brother whose praise in the gospel is in all the churches; 19 and who, moreover, was chosen by the -churches as our fellow-traveler with this gift, which is to be distributed by us to the glory of the Lord himself, and as a declaration of your readiness of mind; 20 being careful for this that no one shall blame us in this abundance, which is ministered by us; 21 for we provide what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have often proved to be diligent in many things, but now much more diligent on account of the strong confidence which he has in you. 23 If it is necessary to speak of Titus, he is my partner and fellow-worker for you; if our brethren are spoken of, they are the apostles of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore, give to them, in the presence of the churches, a proof of your love, and of our boasting of you.