We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been 1given among the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and 2their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For they gave 3according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
begging us earnestly 4for the favor of taking part in 5the relief of the saints--
and this, not as we expected, but they 6gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
Accordingly, 7we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you 8this act of grace.
But as 9you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you--10see that you excel in this act of grace also.
11I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that 12though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
And in this matter 13I give my judgment: 14this benefits you, who 15a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it.
So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.
For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable 16according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness
your abundance at the present time should supply 17their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
As it is written, 18"Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."