1 Why, albeit he think well of their ready wills, 3 yet earnestly exhorteth them, 4 he yieldeth a reason: 6 He compareth alms to seed sowing, 10 which God doth repay with great gain. For as touching the ministering to the Saints, it is superfluous for me to write unto you.
Of course I know it is really quite superfluous for me to be writing to you about this matter of giving to fellow Christians, for I know how willing you are. Indeed I have told the Macedonians with some pride that “Achaia was ready to undertake this service twelve months ago”. Your enthusiasm has consequently been a stimulus to many of them. I am, however, sending the brothers just to make sure that our pride in you is not unjustified. For, between ourselves, it would never do if some of the Macedonians were to accompany me on my visit to you and find you unprepared for this act of generosity! We (not to speak of you) should be horribly ashamed, just because we had been so proud and confident of you. This is my reason, then, for urging the brothers to visit you before I come myself, so that they can get your promised gift ready in good time. But, having let you into my confidence, I should like it to be a spontaneous gift, and not money squeezed out of you by what I have said. All I will say is that poor sowing means a poor harvest, and generous sowing means a generous harvest.
If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself. I know you’re on board and ready to go. I’ve been bragging about you all through Macedonia province, telling them, “Achaia province has been ready to go on this since last year.” Your enthusiasm by now has spread to most of them.
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