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My brothers, let me tell you how God has blessed the churches in Macedonia.

They are being tested by much trouble. But they are always very happy. And they are very poor. Because of these two things, they give to others as if they were rich.

I can tell you because I saw it myself. They gave as much as they could and even more than that. They did it all because they wanted to.

They begged us to let them give something to help God's people.

And they did more than we thought they would do. First, they gave themselves to the Lord and to us, because we were doing God's work.

That is why we asked Titus to see about your gift. He started you off in your giving. And so he is the one to see that you finish it.

We remember how well you do in everything. You do well in believing, in talking, in knowing things, in trying your best, and in the way you love us. So now, do well in giving this gift.

I am not saying that you must do it. But I want to prove how strong your love is. That is why I have told you how other people show their love.

You know how much love our Lord Jesus Christ had. He was rich, but he became poor for your sakes. Because he became poor, you can become rich.

10 I tell you what I think. It is best for you to finish what you started a year ago. You were the first to think of helping, and you started to give money.

11 So now, finish doing it. You wanted to do it, so now finish it. Give as much as you can.

12 If a man wants to give, he is judged by what he has to give. He is not judged by what he cannot give.

13 I do not want it to be easy for others and hard for you.

14 I want it to be equal for everyone. Right now, you have plenty and are able to help them. Another time, when they have plenty, they will help you when you need it. In that way things will be equal.

15 The holy writings say, `The person who had plenty did not have too much. And the person who did not have much, had enough.' care for you into the heart of Titus that I have.

16 He was glad to go when I asked him, but he is also coming to you because he himself wants to come.

17 We are sending another brother with him. This brother has a good name in all the churches because he tells the good news.

18 Not only that, but the churches have chosen him to travel with us as we take care of this gift. We are doing this so that the Lord will be praised. We want to help others.

19 We do not want anyone to say that we have not done the right thing. So we are taking care of this big gift in the right way. 21We want to do what the Lord says is right, but also what people say is right.

20 And we are also sending another brother with them. We have found him to be glad to help us in many matters, many times. And now he is much more glad to help because he trusts you very much.

21 I want to say this. Titus is my close friend and he works with me. And about our other brothers, they have been sent by the churches. They bring praise to Christ.

22 Now then, prove that you love them. Prove that what we have said about you is true. Then the churches will know it.