And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.
So we urged1 Titus,2 since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion3 this act of grace on your part.
But just as you excel in everything4--in faith, in speech, in knowledge,5 in complete earnestness and in your love for usa--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you,6 but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
For you know the grace7 of our Lord Jesus Christ,8 that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,9 so that you through his poverty might become rich.1010
And here is my advice11 about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.1211
Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness13 to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has,14 not according to what he does not have.
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.
At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,15 so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,
as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little."b16