Paul Reveals His Heart
1Therefore, since we have these [great and wonderful] promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, completing holiness [living a consecrated life—a life set apart for God’s purpose] in the fear of God.
2 Make room for us in your hearts; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you, for I have said before that you are [nested] in our hearts [and you will remain there] to die together and to live together [with us]. 4 Great is my confidence in you; great is my pride and boasting on your behalf. I am filled [to the brim] with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in spite of all our trouble.
5 For even when we arrived in Macedonia our bodies had no rest, but we were oppressed at every turn—conflicts and disputes without, fears and dread within. 6 But God, who comforts and encourages the depressed and the disquieted, comforted us by the arrival of Titus. 7 And not only by his arrival, but also by [his account of] the encouragement which he received in regard to you. He told us about your longing [for us], your mourning [over sin], and how eagerly you took my part and supported me, so that I rejoiced even more. 8 For even though I did grieve you with my [a]letter, I do not regret it [now]; though I did regret it —for I see that the letter hurt you, though only for a little while— 9 yet I am glad now, not because you were hurt and made sorry, but because your sorrow led to repentance [and you turned back to God]; for you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel, so that you might not suffer loss in anything on our account. 10 For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death. 11 For [you can look back and] see what an earnestness and authentic concern this godly sorrow has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves [against charges that you tolerate sin], what indignation [at sin], what fear [of offending God], what longing [for righteousness and justice], what passion [to do what is right], what readiness to punish [those who sin and those who tolerate sin]! At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in the matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you [as I did], it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but in order to make evident to you before God how earnestly you do care for us [and your willingness to accept our authority]. 13 It is for this reason that we are comforted and encouraged.
And in addition to our comfort, we were especially delighted at the joy of Titus, because you have refreshed his spirit. 14 For if I have boasted to him at all concerning you, I was not disappointed. But just as everything we ever said to you was true, so our boasting [about you] to Titus has proved true also. 15 His affection is greater than ever as he remembers the obedience [to his guidance] that all of you exhibited, and how you received him with the greatest respect. 16 I rejoice that in everything I have [perfect] confidence in you.