7 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves 1 from everything that could defile the body 2 and the spirit, and thus accomplish 3 holiness out of reverence for God. 4 2 Make room for us in your hearts; 5 we have wronged no one, we have ruined no one, 6 we have exploited no one. 7 3 I do not say this to condemn you, for I told you before 8 that you are in our hearts so that we die together and live together with you. 9
4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride 10 on your behalf. I am filled with encouragement; 11 I am overflowing with joy in the midst of 12 all our suffering. 5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our body 13 had no rest at all, but we were troubled in every way – struggles from the outside, fears from within. 6 But God, who encourages 14 the downhearted, encouraged 15 us by the arrival of Titus. 7 We were encouraged 16 not only by his arrival, but also by the encouragement 17 you gave 18 him, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, 19 your deep concern 20 for me, so that I rejoiced more than ever. 8 For even if I made you sad 21 by my letter, 22 I do not regret having written it 23 (even though I did regret it, 24 for 25 I see that my letter made you sad, 26 though only for a short time). 9 Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad, 27 but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended, 28 so that you were not harmed 29 in any way by us. 10 For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death. 11 For see what this very thing, this sadness 30 as God intended, has produced in you: what eagerness, what defense of yourselves, 31 what indignation, 32 what alarm, what longing, what deep concern, 33 what punishment! 34 In everything you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So then, even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did wrong, or on account of the one who was wronged, but to reveal to you your eagerness on our behalf 35 before God. 13 Therefore we have been encouraged. And in addition to our own encouragement, we rejoiced even more at the joy of Titus, because all of you have refreshed his spirit. 36 14 For if I have boasted to him about anything concerning you, I have not been embarrassed by you, 37 but just as everything we said to you was true, 38 so our boasting to Titus about you 39 has proved true as well. 15 And his affection for you is much greater 40 when he remembers the obedience of you all, how you welcomed him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice because in everything I am fully confident in you.
8 Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, 1 the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, 2 that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth 2 of their generosity. 3 For I testify, they gave according to their means and beyond their means. They did so voluntarily, 3 4 begging us with great earnestness for the blessing and fellowship of helping 4 the saints. 5 And they did this not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 Thus 5 we urged 6 Titus that, just as he had previously begun this work, 7 so also he should complete this act of kindness 8 for you. 7 But as you excel 9 in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you 10 – make sure that you excel 11 in this act of kindness 12 too. 8 I am not saying this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love by comparison with the eagerness of others. 13 9 For you know the grace 14 of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you by his poverty could become rich. 10 So here is my opinion on this matter: It is to your advantage, since you 15 made a good start last year both in your giving and your desire to give, 11 to finish what you started, 16 so that just as you wanted to do it eagerly, 17 you can also complete it 18 according to your means. 19 12 For if the eagerness is present, the gift itself 20 is acceptable according to whatever one has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not say this so there would be relief for others and suffering for you, but as a matter of equality. 14 At the present time, your abundance will meet their need, 21 so that one day their abundance may also meet your need, and thus there may be equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered 22 much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” 23
16 But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same devotion 24 I have for you, 17 because he not only accepted our request, but since he was very eager, 25 he is coming 26 to you of his own accord. 27 18 And we are sending 28 along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his work in spreading the gospel. 29 19 In addition, 30 this brother 31 has also been chosen by the churches as our traveling companion as we administer this generous gift 32 to the glory of the Lord himself and to show our readiness to help. 33 20 We did this 34 as a precaution so that no one should blame us in regard to this generous gift we are administering. 21 For we are concerned about what is right not only before the Lord but also before men. 35 22 And we are sending 36 with them our brother whom we have tested many times and found eager in many matters, but who now is much more eager than ever because of the great confidence he has in you. 23 If there is any question 37 about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; if there is any question about our brothers, they are messengers 38 of the churches, a glory to Christ. 24 Therefore show 39 them openly before the churches the proof of your love and of our pride in you. 40