1 I must tell you, brothers, how the favor of God has been shown in the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in spite of a severe ordeal of trouble, their extraordinary gladness, combined with their extreme poverty, has overflowed in a wealth of generosity. 3 For they have given to the utmost of their ability, as I can bear them witness, and beyond it, 4 and begged me most earnestly, of their own accord, to let them share in the support of their fellow-Christians. 5 They did far more than I hoped, for first in obedience to God's will, they gave themselves to the Lord, and to me. 6 This has led me to urge Titus to complete the arrangements he had formerly begun among you for this gracious undertaking. 7 Just as you excel in everything else??aith, expression, knowledge, perfect devotion, and the love we have awakened in you??ou must excel in this generous undertaking too.
8 I do not mean this as a command. I only want to test the genuineness of your love by the devotion of others. 9 You know how gracious the Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was rich, he became poor for your sake, in order that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 But I will tell you what I think about it. For this is the best way to deal with you, for you were the first not only to do anything about this, but to want to do anything, and that was last year. 11 Now finish doing it, so that your readiness to undertake it may be equaled by the way you finish it up, as well as your means permit. 12 If a man is willing to give, the value of his gift is in its proportion to what he has, not to what he has not. 13 I do not mean to be easy upon others and hard upon you, 14 but to equalize the burden, and in the present situation to have your plenty make up for what they need, so that some day their plenty may make up for what you need, and so things may be made equal??15 as the Scripture says, "The man who got much did not have too much, and the man who got little did not have too little."
16 Thank God, he puts the same devotion to you that I feel into Titus' heart, 17 for he has responded to my appeal, but he goes to you really of his own accord, he is so devoted to you. 18 I am sending with him his brother, who is famous in all the churches for his work in spreading the good news. 19 What is more, he has been appointed by the churches to travel with me in the interests of this generous undertaking, which I am superintending to honor the Lord and to show our readiness to help. 20 I mean to have no one able to find any fault with the way I handle this munificence. 21 I intend to do what is right not only in the Lord's sight but in the eyes of men. 22 I send with them another brother of ours whose devotion we have often tested in many ways, which is now greater than ever, because of his perfect confidence in you. 23 So as far as Titus is concerned, he is my partner and comrade in my work for you, while these brothers of ours represent the churches, and are a credit to Christ. 24 So you must give proof to them before all the churches of your love, and justify my pride in you.