1I do not need to write to you about the money that we are sending to help God's people. 2I know how much you want to help. I say good things about you to the people in Macedonia. I tell them that you people in Achaia have been ready to help since last year. And because you are so ready to help, most of them now want very much to help also. 3But still, I am sending these men, who are believers like us. I am sending them to you so that you will really be ready to give your money. I have told people that you were ready. And now everyone will know that I spoke true words.
4Perhaps some people from Macedonia might come with me. And I would not want them to find that you are not ready to help. Then I would be ashamed that I had been sure about you. And I am saying nothing about how ashamed you yourselves would be! 5So, I thought that I must ask these men to visit you first. They will visit you before I myself come. They will help you to prepare the gift that you promised. Then it will be ready when I arrive. So, everyone will know that you really want to give this gift. You are not giving it because anyone is making you give it. Everyone will know that.
It is good to give plenty
6Remember this: A farmer who plants only a few seeds will not get much as a result. But a farmer who plants plenty of seeds will bring plenty from his field as a result. 7Each person should give as much as he himself has decided to give. He should not give because he has to give. He should not give if he does not really want to give. God loves someone who is really happy to give help to other people. 8God is able to give you more than you need of every good thing. You will always have everything that you need for yourselves. Also, you will be able to do many good things to help other people. 9The Bible says this about a person who helps other people:
‘He has given very much to the poor people.
God will always remember how good and kind that person has been.’
10It is God who supplies seeds for the farmer to plant. It is God who supplies bread for food. And God will make you like a farmer who plants good seeds. He will supply your seeds, and he will give more and more seeds to you. Also, he will cause those seeds to grow, to give more and more good results. You will have good results from all the good seeds that you plant. 11God will make you rich always, so that you will always be able to give plenty to other people. Many people will thank God because of your gifts that they have received by us.
12This good work that you are doing is helping God's people. It is helping to supply what God's people need. And it is not only doing that. It is also causing many people to thank God very, very much. 13Your gift will show people what you are really like. You say that you believe the good news about Christ. And your gift will show how much you really want to obey God. You are happy to give so much to these people, and to everyone else. So, as a result, many people will say how good and great God is. 14And they will pray on your behalf because they really love you very much. They will love you because God has caused you to be so very, very kind. 15We should thank God because of the very great gift that he has given to us. His gift is so great that no words could ever describe it!