2 Corinthians 8:7-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the [a]love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish [b]doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 12 For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— 14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; 15 as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.”
2 Corinthians 8:7-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
8 I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the generous act[c] of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10 And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something— 11 now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12 For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13 I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14 your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. 15 As it is written,
“The one who had much did not have too much,
2 Corinthians 8:7-15 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
7 That as in all things you abound in faith, and word, and knowledge, and all carefulness; moreover also in your charity towards us, so in this grace also you may abound.
8 I speak not as commanding; but by the carefulness of others, approving also the good disposition of your charity.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich he became poor, for your sakes; that through his poverty you might be rich.
10 And herein I give my advice; for this is profitable for you, who have begun not only to do, but also to be willing, a year ago.
11 Now therefore perform ye it also in deed; that as your mind is forward to be willing, so it may be also to perform, out of that which you have.
12 For if the will be forward, it is accepted according to that which a man hath, not according to that which he hath not.
13 For I mean not that others should be eased, and you burthened, but by an equality.
14 In this present time let your abundance supply their want, that their abundance also may supply your want, that there may be an equality,
15 As it is written: He that had much, had nothing over; and he that had little, had no want.
2 Corinthians 8:7-20 The Message (MSG)
5-7 This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives. That’s what prompted us to ask Titus to bring the relief offering to your attention, so that what was so well begun could be finished up. You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you’re articulate, you’re insightful, you’re passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.
8-9 I’m not trying to order you around against your will. But by bringing in the Macedonians’ enthusiasm as a stimulus to your love, I am hoping to bring the best out of you. You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.
10-20 So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands. This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written,
Nothing left over to the one with the most,
I thank God for giving Titus the same devoted concern for you that I have. He was most considerate of how we felt, but his eagerness to go to you and help out with this relief offering is his own idea. We’re sending a companion along with him, someone very popular in the churches for his preaching of the Message. But there’s far more to him than popularity. He’s rock-solid trustworthy. The churches handpicked him to go with us as we travel about doing this work of sharing God’s gifts to honor God as well as we can, taking every precaution against scandal.