Paul Reveals His Heart
1 Therefore, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God.
2 Do open your hearts to us again [enlarge them to take us in]. We have wronged no one, we have betrayed or corrupted no one, we have cheated or taken advantage of no one. 3 I do not say this to reproach or condemn [you], for I have said before that you are [nested] in our hearts, [and you will remain there] together [with us], whether we die or live. 4 I have great boldness and free and fearless confidence and cheerful courage toward you; my pride in you is great. I am filled [brimful] with the comfort [of it]; with all our tribulation and in spite of it, [I am filled with comfort] I am overflowing with joy.
5 For even when we arrived in Macedonia, our bodies had no ease or rest, but we were oppressed in every way and afflicted at every turn -- "fighting and contentions without, dread and fears within [us]. 6 But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus. 7 [Yes] and not only by his coming but also by [his account of] the comfort with which he was encouraged and refreshed and cheered as to you, while he told us of your yearning affection, of how sorry you were [for me] and how eagerly you took my part, so that I rejoiced still more. 8 For even though I did grieve you with my letter, I do not regret [it now], though I did regret it; for I see that that letter did pain you, though only for a little while; 9 Yet I am glad now, not because you were pained, but because you were pained into repentance [and so turned back to God]; for you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel, so that in nothing you might suffer loss through us or harm for what we did. 10 For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death]. 11 For [you can look back now and] observe what this same godly sorrow has done for you and has produced in you: what eagerness and earnest care to explain and clear yourselves [of all complicity in the condoning of incest], what indignation [at the sin], what alarm, what yearning, what zeal [to do justice to all concerned], what readiness to mete out punishment [ to the offender]! At every point you have proved yourselves cleared and guiltless in the matter. 12 So although I did write to you [as I did], it was not for the sake and because of the one who did [the] wrong, nor on account of the one who suffered [the] wrong, but in order that you might realize before God [that your readiness to accept our authority revealed] how zealously you do care for us. 13 Therefore we are relieved and comforted and encouraged [at the result]. And in addition to our own [personal] consolation, we were especially delighted at the joy of Titus, because you have all set his mind at rest, soothing and refreshing his spirit. 14 For if I had boasted to him at all concerning you, I was not disappointed or put to shame, but just as everything we ever said to you was true, so our boasting [about you] to Titus has proved true also. 15 And his heart goes out to you more abundantly than ever as he recalls the submission [to his guidance] that all of you had, and the reverence and anxiety [to meet all requirements] with which you accepted and welcomed him. 16 I am very happy because I now am of good courage and have perfect confidence in you in all things.