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8 * But let us make you acquainted, brothers, with God’s grace that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 that under a great test of distress the plentifulness of their joy and their deep poverty became a plentiful source for the wealth of their liberality, 3 * because to the extent of their power, I can testify, and beyond it, 4 they gave voluntarily, imploring us with strong appeals for the favor and the participation in the service to God’s people— 5 * and not as we had hoped, but giving themselves first to the Lord, and to us by God’s will, 6 so that we invited Titus, as he had made the first start, so too to bring to completion in you this grace too. 7 * But as you are plentiful in everything, faith and the gift of speech and knowledge and all earnestness and love on our part toward you, try to be also plentiful in this grace. 8 I do not say it in the way of an order, but to get proof, through the earnestness of others, of the genuineness of your love too— 9 for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how on your account he became poor when he was rich, in order that you might become rich by his poverty— 10 * and as this is what I am doing I offer an opinion; for this will be good for you, who made the first start last year not only in doing but also in wanting to. 11 * But now bring to completion the doing too, so that to the heartiness of wanting to there may correspond the completion that comes from having the wherewithal; 12 for if the hearty readiness is there it is acceptable on the basis of what one has, not of what he does not have. 13 For the idea is not that others are to get an easy time, you a hard one, 14 but to have it on an equality, your surplus coming in just now for their shortage in order that their surplus may also come in for your shortage, so that there may be equality, 15 as it is written “The one who had taken more had no surplus and the one who had taken less had no shortage.” 16 * But thanks be to God who is putting into Titus’s heart the same earnestness on your behalf, 17 * because he has accepted the invitation and, so earnest he was, has gone off to you on his own initiative. 18 And we sent with him the brother whose praise in the preaching of the gospel runs through all the churches, 19 * and, besides, who has with a view to the glory of the Lord himself and our hearty preference been elected by the churches as our fellow-traveler in the matter of this grace that is being administered by us, 20 to avoid having anybody find fault with us in the matter of this bounty that is being administered by us; 21 for we are keeping in mind what is going to look well not only before the Lord but also before men. 22 * And we sent with them our brother whom we have many times found by many evidences to be energetic, but now much more energetic by the confidence he has in you. 23 * As to Titus, he is our comrade and co-worker for you; our brothers, they are church delegates, glory of Christ. 24 * So when you give the demonstration of your love and of our boast about you to them, it is in presence of the churches.
^ 8:1 Lit. But we make
^ 8:3 Lit. I testify
^ 8:5 Lit. but themselves first
^ 8:7 Var. on your part toward us
^ 8:10 Lit. and in this I offer
^ 8:11 Lit. so that as the heartiness of wanting to, so may be the completion out of having; for if
^ 8:16 Var. who put
^ 8:17-18 Or is going off . . . And we are sending
^ 8:19 Lit. and not only, but also elected
^ 8:22 Or are sending
^ 8:23 Lit. Whether about Titus, our comrade and co-worker for you; or our brothers, church delegates
^ 8:24 Lit. So demonstrating the demonstration of your love and of our boast about you to them, in presence