1 Now, brothers, I wish to tell you about the grace of God which has been manifest in the churches of Macedonia. 2 For although in heavy trial of affliction, their overbrimming happiness, even in spite of their deep poverty, abounded to the opulence of their unselfishness. 3 For I can testify that according to their ability, and even beyond their ability, of their own free will, too, they have given help. 4 With earnest entreaty they craved of me the privilege of a share in ministering to the saints in Jerusalem. 5 And this not as I had expected, but in accordance with the will of God, they first gave themselves to God and to me. 6 With the result that I have been begging Titus that, as he had been the one to begin the work with you, so he should complete among you this grace also. 7 Now then, as you excel in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and all zeal and in your love to me, see to it that you excel in this grace also.
8 I do not say this by way of command, but by the zeal of others I am trying to prove the reality of your love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how though he was rich, for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich. 10 And I will give you my opinion in this matter; for this offering is fitting in your case, considering that you made a beginning before others, not only in the willingness to do something but also in actually doing something a year ago. 11 So now complete the doing of it also, in order that just as there was the readiness to will, so there may be the accomplishment according to your means. 12 For if there be first willing mind, the gift is accepted according to what a man has, and not according to what he has not. 13 Nor are other people to be relieved, and you to be distressed; 14 but burdens are to be equalized. Now your abundance at this present time present time is a supply for their want, in supply for your want; and so burdens be equalized, 15 even as it is written, He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little did not lack.
16 But thanks be to God who has inspired in the heart of Titus the same zeal on your behalf that I have. 17 For he not only consented to my request, but being thoroughly in earnest, comes to you of his own accord. 18 And I am sending with him that brother whose fame in the service of the gospel is spread through all the churches. 19 More than that, he is the one chosen by the churches to accompany me on my journey, in administering this gift of yours for the Lord's glory. And this has my full consent, 20 because I am on my guard in this, that no one should blame me, in respect to this bounty which I am administering. 21 For I aim at being above reproach, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 With them I am sending our brother of whose zeal I have often had proof in many ways, and who is now zealous because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, remember that he is a partner of mine, and is also my associate in labors for you. As for the other brothers, remember that they are delegates from the churches, men in whom Christ is glorified. 24 So show to the churches an evidence of your love, and a justification to these brothers of my boasting about you.