they begged us insistently for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints,
and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves especially to the Lord, then to us by God's will.
So we urged Titus that, just as he had begun, so he should also complete this grace to you.
Now as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us-- excel also in this grace.
I am not saying this as a command. Rather, by means of the diligence of others, I am testing the genuineness of your love.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: although He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.
Now I am giving an opinion on this because it is profitable for you, who a year ago began not only to do something but also to desire it.
But now finish the task as well, that just as there was eagerness to desire it, so there may also be a completion from what you have.
For if the eagerness is there, it is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
It is not that there may be relief for others and hardship for you, but it is a question of equality--
at the present time your surplus is [available] for their need, so that their abundance may also become [available] for your need, that there may be equality.
As it has been written: The person who gathered much did not have too much, and the person who gathered little did not have too little.