The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
And now, brethren, we must tell you about the grace which God has lavished upon the churches of Macedonia:✻
how well they have stood the test of distress, how abundantly they have rejoiced over it, how abject is their poverty, and how the crown of all this has been a rich measure of generosity in them.✻
I can testify that of their own accord they undertook to do all they could, and more than they could;
they begged us, most urgently, to allow them the privilege of helping to supply the needs of the saints.
And their gift went beyond our hopes; they gave their own services to the Lord, which meant, as God willed, to us;
so that we were able to ask Titus to visit you again, and finish this gracious task he had begun, as part of his mission.✻
You excel in so much already, in faith, in power of utterance, in knowledge of the truth, in devotion of every kind, in your loving treatment of us; may this gracious excellence be yours too.
I say this, not to lay any injunction on you, but only to make sure that your charity rings true by telling you about the eagerness of others.
(You do not need to be reminded how gracious our Lord Jesus Christ was; how he impoverished himself for your sakes, when he was so rich, so that you might become rich through his poverty),
I am only giving you my advice, then, in this matter; you can claim that as your due, since it was you who led the way, not only in acting, but in proposing to act, as early as last year.
It remains for you now to complete your action; readiness of the will must be completed by deeds, as far as your means allow.
We value a man’s readiness of will according to the means he has, not according to the means he might have, but has not;
and there is no intention that others should be relieved at the price of your distress. No, a balance is to be struck,
and what you can spare now is to make up for what they want; so that what they can spare may, in its turn, make up for your want, and thus the balance will be redressed.
So we read in scripture, He who had gathered much had nothing left over, and he who had gathered little, no lack.✻
I thank God for inspiring the heart of Titus, your representative, with the same eagerness.✻
He has accepted our invitation; but indeed, of his own choice he was eager to visit you.
And we are sending with him that brother of ours, who has won the praise of all the churches by his proclamation of the gospel;
he, too, is the man whom the churches have appointed to be our companion in this gracious ministry of ours, to further the Lord’s glory and our own resolve.
They were anxious that no suspicion should be aroused against us, with these great sums to handle;
it is not only in the Lord’s sight, but in the sight of men, that we have to study our behaviour.
And, to accompany these, we are sending a brother of whose eagerness we have had good proof, in many ways and upon many occasions; now he is more eager than ever, such is the confidence he feels in you.
As for Titus, he is my partner and has shared my work among you; as for these brethren of ours, they are the envoys of the churches, the glory of Christ:
give them proof, then, of your charity, and of the good reason we have to be proud of you, for all the churches to see.
The Holy Bible