1 I MUST tell you, brethren, of the grace of God that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
2 that in a great trial of distress their abundant joy and their deep poverty have abounded in the wealth of their liberality.
3 For according to their ability, I bear witness, and beyond their ability, of their own accord,
4 with great urgency they begged of us the favor of fellowship in the service for the holy,
5 and this not as we had hoped, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us through the will of God.
6 Therefore we encouraged Titus that as he had begun so he should complete this grace among you.
7 But as you excel in every way, in faith and speech and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love you learned from us, be sure to excel in this grace also.
8 I speak not by way of command, but testing the genuineness of your love by the earnestness of others.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for your sake he became poor, that you by his poverty might become rich.
10 In this I give my opinion, for this is advantageous for you, since a year ago you were first to begin not only the doing but the wanting to do anything.
11 But now complete the doing, that as there was a readiness in willing so there may be a completion according to your means.
12 For if there is first the readiness, a gift is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he has not.
13 I do not mean that others shall have relief and you shall have trouble,
14 but by equality at the present time your abundance may supply their need so that their abundance may come at your need \'97 that there may be equality,
15 as it is written, "He who gathered much had nothing over and he who gathered little had no lack."
16 Thanks be to God who puts into the heart of Titus the same interest in you.
17 For he welcomed our appeal, but being unusually interested comes to you of his own choice.
18 With him we are sending the brother whose praise for service to the good news has spread through all the churches,
19 and not only that, but he was appointed by the churches as our fellow traveler in this gracious errand carried out by us to the glory of the Lord himself and by our own eager desire.
20 We are taking care that no one shall blame us for our administration of this bountiful fund,
21 for we are providing arrangements honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 We are sending along with them also our brother whose earnestness we have tested many times in many ways, and who is now especially earnest because of his great confidence in you.
23 If any one asks about Titus, he is my intimate friend and fellow worker for you. If it is our brethren, they are the messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
24 Show them in the sight of the churches your love and the ground of our boasting to them about you.