1So I made up my mind that I would not pay you another painful visit. 2For if I cause you pain, who is left to make me happy except the people I have pained? 3Indeed, this is why I wrote as I did — so that when I came, I would not have to be pained by those who ought to be making me happy; for I had enough confidence in all of you to believe that unless I could be happy, none of you could be happy either. 4I wrote to you with a greatly distressed and anguished heart, and with many tears, not in order to cause you pain, but to get you to realize how very much I love you.
5Now if someone has been a cause of pain, it is not I whom he has pained, but, in some measure — I don’t want to overstate it — all of you. 6For such a person the punishment already imposed on him by the majority is sufficient, 7so that now you should do the opposite — forgive him, encourage him, comfort him. Otherwise such a person might be swallowed up in overwhelming depression. 8So I urge you to show that you really do love him. 9The reason I wrote you was to see if you would pass the test, to see if you would fully obey me. 10Anyone you forgive, I forgive too. For indeed, whatever I have forgiven, if there has been anything to forgive, has been for your sake in the presence of the Messiah 11so that we will not be taken advantage of by the Adversary — for we are quite aware of his schemes!
12Now when I went to Troas to proclaim the Good News of the Messiah, since a door had been opened for me by the Lord, 13I could not rest, because I failed to find my brother Titus. So I left the people there and went on to Macedonia.
14But thanks be to God, who in the Messiah constantly leads us in a triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of what it means to know him! 15For to God we are the aroma of the Messiah, both among those being saved and among those being lost; 16to the latter, we are the smell of death leading only to more death; but to the former, we are the sweet smell of life leading to more life. Who is equal to such a task? 17For we are not like a lot of folks who go about huckstering God’s message for a fee; on the contrary, we speak out of a sincere heart, as people sent by God, standing in God’s presence, living in union with the Messiah.