Great Generosity
1Now, brothers and sisters, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia,
2that in a Or severe test ofgreat ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
3For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave voluntarily,
4begging us with much urging for the favor Lit andof participation in the Lit service to the saintssupport of the Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s peoplesaints,
5and this, not as we had Lit hopedexpected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
6So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.
7But just as you excel in everything, in faith, speaking, knowledge, and in all earnestness and in the Lit love from us in you; one early ms love from you in uslove we inspired in you, see that you also excel in this gracious work.
8I am not saying this as a command, but as proving, through the earnestness of others, the sincerity of your love as well.
9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
10I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.
11But now finish Lit the doingdoing it also, so that just as there was the willingness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.
12For if the willingness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
13For this is not for the relief of others and for your hardship, but by way of equality—
14at this present time your abundance will serve as assistance for their need, so that their abundance also may Lit becomeserve as assistance for your need, so that there may be equality;
15as it is written: “The one who had gathered much did not have too much, and the one who had gathered little did not have too little.”
16But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness in your behalf in the heart of Titus.
17For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.
18We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches;
19and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness,
20Lit avoiding thistaking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift;
21for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of other people.
22We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you.
23As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker Lit for youamong you; as for our brothers, they are Lit apostlesmessengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.
24Therefore, Lit in the face of the churchesopenly before the churches, Or show the proof...for boasting about you to themshow them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.