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Liberal Giving

Moreover, brothers, we want you to experience the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, how in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty overflowed toward the riches of their generous giving. For I bear record that according to their means, and beyond their means, they freely gave, begging us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of ministering to the saints. This they did, not as we expected. First, they gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this gracious deed for you. But as you abound in everything—in faith, in utterance, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love to us—see that you abound in this grace also.

I say this not as a command, but to prove through the authenticity of others, the sincerity also of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that through His poverty you might be rich.

10 And in this matter I give my advice. It is appropriate for you, who began last year not only to give, but also to willingly give. 11 Now therefore complete the task, so that, as there was a willingness to do so, there may be a performance of it according to your means. 12 For if there is a willing mind first, the gift is accepted according to what a man possesses and not according to what he does not possess.

13 I do not mean that other men have relief, and you be burdened, 14 but for equality, that your abundance now at this time may supply their need, and their abundance may supply your need—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had no excess. And he who gathered little had no lack.”[a]

16 But thanks be to God, who placed the same sincere care in the heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation. But being more zealous, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches. 19 And not only that, but he was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which we administer to the glory of the same Lord, and to declare your willing mind, 20 to prevent any man from blaming us in administering this abundant gift, 21 providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.

22 Furthermore, we have sent with them our brother whom we have frequently proved diligent in many things, but now is much more diligent, due to the great confidence which he has in you. 23 If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper concerning you. Or if our brothers are inquired about, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.