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. Chapter 2.

1 So I made up my mind that my next visit to you must not be another painful one. 2 If I cause pain to you, who is left to cheer me up, except you, whom I have offended? 3 This is precisely the point I made in my letter: I did not want, I said, to come and be made miserable by the very people who ought to have made me happy; and I had sufficient confidence in you all to know that for me to be happy is for all of you to be happy. 4 That letter I sent you came out of great distress and anxiety; how many tears I shed as I wrote it! But I never meant to cause you pain; I wanted you rather to know the love, the more than ordinary love, that I have for you.

Forgiveness for the Offender

5 Any injury that has been done, has not been done to me; to some extent, not to labour the point, it has been done to you all. 6 The penalty on which the general meeting has agreed has met the offence well enough. 7 Something very different is called for now: you must forgive the offender and put heart into him; the man's sorrow must not be made so severe as to overwhelm him. 8 I urge you therefore to assure him of your love for him by a formal act. 9 I wrote, I may say, to see how you stood the test, whether you fully accepted my authority. 10 But anyone who has your forgiveness has mine too; and when I speak of forgiving (so far as there is anything for me to forgive), I mean that as the representative of Christ I have forgiven him for your sake. [Or: that I have forgiven him for your sake, in the presence of Christ.] 11 For Satan must not be allowed to get the better of us; we know his wiles all too well.

Paul's Anxiety and Relief

12 Then when I came to Troas, where I was to preach the gospel of Christ, and where an opening awaited me for the Lord's work, 13 I still found no relief of mind, for my colleague Titus was not there to meet me; so I took leave of the people there and went off to Macedonia. 14 But thanks be to God, who continually leads us about, captives in Christ's triumphal procession, and everywhere uses us to reveal and spread abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of himself! 15 We are indeed the incense offered by Christ to God, both for those who are on the way to salvation, and for those who are on the way to perdition: 16 to the latter it is a deadly fume that kills, to the former a vital fragrance that brings life. Who is equal to such a calling? 17 At least we do not go hawking the word of God about, as so many do; when we declare the word we do it in sincerity, as from God and in God's sight, as members of Christ.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.