Holman Christian Standard Bible
1We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God granted to the churches of Macedonia: 2During a severe testing by affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed into the wealth of their generosity. 3I testify that, on their own, according to their ability and beyond their ability, 4they begged us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints, 5and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves especially to the Lord, then to us by God's will. 6So we urged Titus that just as he had begun, so he should also complete this grace to you.
7Now as you excel in everything--faith, speech, knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love for us--excel also in this grace. 8I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love.
9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich. 10Now I am giving an opinion on this because it is profitable for you, who a year ago began not only to do something but also to desire it. 11But now finish the task as well, that just as there was eagerness to desire it, so there may also be a completion from what you have. 12For if the eagerness is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 13It is not that there may be relief for others and hardship for you, but it is a question of equality-- 14at the present time your surplus is available for their need, so their abundance may also become available for our need, so there may be equality. 15As it has been written: The person who gathered much did not have too much, and the person who gathered little did not have too little.
16Thanks be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus. 17For he accepted our urging and, being very diligent, went out to you by his own choice. 18We have sent with him the brother who is praised throughout the churches for his gospel ministry. 19And not only that, but he was also appointed by the churches to accompany us with this gift that is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20We are taking this precaution so no one can criticize us about this large sum administered by us. 21For we are making provision for what is right, not only before the Lord but also before men. 22We have also sent with them our brother. We have often tested him in many circumstances and found him to be diligent--and now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and coworker serving you; as for our brothers, they are the messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24Therefore, show them proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you.