2 Corinthians 8
New Living Translation
A Call to Generous Giving
8 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,[a] what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.[b] 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us[c]—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”[d]
Titus and His Companions
16 But thank God! He has given Titus the same enthusiasm for you that I have. 17 Titus welcomed our request that he visit you again. In fact, he himself was very eager to go and see you. 18 We are also sending another brother with Titus. All the churches praise him as a preacher of the Good News. 19 He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering to Jerusalem[e]—a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness to help.
20 We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift. 21 We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.
22 We are also sending with them another of our brothers who has proven himself many times and has shown on many occasions how eager he is. He is now even more enthusiastic because of his great confidence in you. 23 If anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to help you. And the brothers with him have been sent by the churches,[f] and they bring honor to Christ. 24 So show them your love, and prove to all the churches that our boasting about you is justified.
2 Corinthians 8
New International Version
The Collection for the Lord’s People
8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian(A) churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.(B) 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,(C) and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing(D) in this service(E) to the Lord’s people.(F) 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged(G) Titus,(H) just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion(I) this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything(J)—in faith, in speech, in knowledge,(K) in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you,(L) but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace(M) of our Lord Jesus Christ,(N) that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor,(O) so that you through his poverty might become rich.(P)
10 And here is my judgment(Q) about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.(R) 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness(S) to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has,(T) not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need,(U) so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[b](V)
Titus Sent to Receive the Collection
16 Thanks be to God,(W) who put into the heart(X) of Titus(Y) the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative.(Z) 18 And we are sending along with him the brother(AA) who is praised by all the churches(AB) for his service to the gospel.(AC) 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us(AD) as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.(AE) 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.(AF)
22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus,(AG) he is my partner(AH) and co-worker(AI) among you; as for our brothers,(AJ) they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you,(AK) so that the churches can see it.