I decided to study and to use my wisdom to learn about everything that is done in this life. I learned that it is a very hard thing that God has given us to do. I looked at everything done on earth, and I saw that it is all a waste of time. It is like trying to catch the wind. If something is crooked, you cannot say it is straight. And if something is missing, you cannot say it is there. I said to myself, “I am very wise. I am wiser than all the kings who ruled Jerusalem before me. I know what wisdom and knowledge really are.” I decided to learn how wisdom and knowledge are better than thinking foolish thoughts. But I learned that trying to become wise is like trying to catch the wind. With much wisdom comes frustration. The one who gains more wisdom also gains more sorrow.
You are rich in everything—in faith, in speaking ability, in knowledge, in the willingness to help, and in the love you learned from us. So now we want you to be rich in this work of giving too. I am not ordering you to give, but I want to see how real your love is by comparing you with others who have been so ready and willing to help. You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that he gave up his heavenly riches for you. He gave up everything so that you could be richly blessed. This is what I think you should do: Last year you were the first to want to give, and you were the first who gave. So now finish the work you started. Then your “doing” will be equal to your “wanting to do.” Give from what you have. If you want to give, your gift will be accepted. Your gift will be judged by what you have, not by what you don’t have. We don’t want you to have troubles while others are comforted. We want everything to be equal. At this time you have plenty and can provide what they need. Then later, when they have plenty, they can provide what you need. Then everyone will have an equal share.