Since we have these promises, dear friends, we need to cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit and live a holy life in the fear of God.
Open your hearts to us. We haven't treated anyone unjustly, ruined anyone, or cheated anyone.
I'm not saying this to condemn you. I've already told you that you are in our hearts so that we will live and die together.
I have great confidence in you, and I have a lot of reasons to be proud of you. Even as we suffer, I'm encouraged and feel very happy.
Ever since we arrived in the province of Macedonia, we've had no rest. Instead, we suffer in a number of ways. Outwardly we have conflicts, and inwardly we have fears.
Yet God, who comforts those who are dejected, comforted us when Titus arrived.
We were comforted not only by his arrival but also by learning about the comfort he had received while he was with you. He told us how you wanted to see me, how sorry you are for what you've done, and how concerned you are about me. This made me even happier.
If my letter made you uncomfortable, I'm not sorry. But since my letter did make you uncomfortable for a while, I was sorry.
But I'm happy now, not because I made you uncomfortable, but because the distress I caused you has led you to change the way you think and act. You were distressed in a godly way, so we haven't done you any harm.
In fact, to be distressed in a godly way causes people to change the way they think and act and leads them to be saved. No one can regret that. But the distress that the world causes brings only death.
When you became distressed in a godly way, look at how much devotion it caused you to have. You were ready to clear yourselves of the charges against you. You were disgusted with the wrong that had been done. You were afraid. You wanted to see us. You wanted to show your concern for us. You were ready to punish the wrong that had been done. In every way you have demonstrated that you are people who are innocent in this matter.
So, when I wrote to you, I didn't write because of the man who did the wrong or the man who was hurt by it. Rather, I wrote because I wanted you to show your devotion to us in God's sight.
This is what has comforted us. In addition to being comforted, we were especially pleased to see how happy Titus was. All of you had put his mind at ease.
I didn't have to be ashamed of anything I had said to him when I bragged about you. Since everything we told you was true, our bragging to Titus has also proved to be true.
His deepest feelings go out to you even more as he remembers how obedient all of you were, and how you welcomed him with fear and trembling.
I'm pleased that I can be confident about you in every way.