1 Now, brethren, we want you to know about the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,
2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
3 For I testify that according to their ability, and even beyond their ability, they gave of their own free will,
4 urgently pleading with us for the privilege of sharing in the relief of the saints.
5 And they did not do as we expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, he would also complete in you this work of grace.
7 But as you excel in everythingin faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for ussee that you excel in this work of grace also.
8 I am not speaking this as a command, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that through his poverty you might become rich.
10 And in this matter I give my advice: it is best for you now to complete what a year ago you began not only to do but to desire.
11 Now finish the work, so that your readiness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened;
14 but at the present time your abundance should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be equality.
15 As it is written, »He who gathered much had nothing left over,and he who gathered little had no lack.«
16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.
17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.
18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his preaching of the gospel;
19 and not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work which we are carrying on, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will.
20 We intend that no one should blame us about this liberal gift which we are administering,
21 for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many matters, but who is now more diligent than ever because of his great confidence in you.
23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; and as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
24 Therefore openly before the churches, show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our boasting about you.