1 I decided not to visit you again while I was distressed. 2 After all, if I had made you uncomfortable, how could you have cheered me up when you were uncomfortable?
3 This is the very reason I wrote to you. I didn’t want to visit you and be distressed by those who should make me happy. I’m confident about all of you that whatever makes me happy also makes you happy.
4 I was deeply troubled and anguished. In fact, I had tears in my eyes when I wrote to you. I didn’t write to make you uncomfortable but to let you know how much I love you.
Forgive the Person Who Sinned
5 If someone caused distress, I’m not the one really affected. To some extent—although I don’t want to emphasize this too much—it has affected all of you. 6 The majority of you have imposed a severe enough punishment on that person. 7 So now forgive and comfort him. Such distress could overwhelm someone like that if he’s not forgiven and comforted. 8 That is why I urge you to assure him that you love him. 9 I had also written to you to test you. I wanted to see if you would be obedient in every way.
10 If you forgive someone, so do I. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did in the presence of Christ for your benefit. 11 I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.
Paul’s Mission as Christ’s Spokesman
12 When I went to the city of Troas, the Lord gave me an opportunity to spread the Good News about Christ. 13 But I didn’t have any peace of mind, because I couldn’t find Titus, our brother, there. So I said goodbye to the people in Troas and went to the province of Macedonia.
14 But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ. Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what it means to know Christ. It’s like a fragrance that fills the air. 15 To God we are the aroma of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are dying. 16 To some people we are a deadly fragrance, while to others we are a life-giving fragrance.
Who is qualified to tell about Christ? 17 At least we don’t go around selling an impure word of God like many others. The opposite is true. As Christ’s spokesmen and in God’s presence, we speak the pure message that comes from God.