1 Now I Paul, myself, appeal to you by the humble-heartedness and selflessness of Christ - Paul who "in your presence is humble, but bold enough when he is absent" -
2 I beseech you, and I say, do not make me show my boldness, when I come in the boldness with which I think I shall show my courage against some who think that I am walking on the low level of the flesh.
3 Though I do walk on the low level of the flesh, I do not make war as the flesh does;
4 for the weapons of my warfare are not weapons of the flesh, but mighty for God, in pulling down all fortresses.
5 For I pull down imaginations and every crag that lifts itself against the knowledge of God. And I carry every thought away into captivity and subjection to Christ;
6 and I am fully prepared to punish every act of disobedience, when once your submission has been put beyond question.
7 Look these facts in the face. If any man is fully persuaded as regards himself that he belongs to Christ, let him consider again with himself, that just as he is Christs, so also am I.
8 If, however, I were to boast more loudly concerning the authority which the Lord gave me (not to cast you down, but to build you up), I should have no cause for shame.
9 Let it not seem as if I were overawing you with my letters.
10 "His letters indeed," says one, "are mighty and forcible, but his personality is weak, and his speech contemptible."
11 Let such a man assure himself that my actions, when I am present, will be just like my words in my letters when I am absent.
12 I have not indeed the audacity to class myself among, or compare myself with, certain of the self-commenders; yet they are not wise in measuring themselves by one another and in comparing themselves with one another.
13 I, however, will not indulge in undue boasting, but will confine it within the limits of the sphere to which God has assigned me - a sphere which reaches even to you.
14 For I am not overstepping the limits of my authority, as though I reached you not; since I have already come even as far as Corinth to proclaim the gospel of Christ.
15 I am not "boasting beyond measure in the labors of others," but it is my hope that, as your faith goes on increasing among yourselves, by the enlargement of my appointed limits,
16 I may carry the gospel to countries beyond you; and not be boasting of work made ready to my hand within another mans limit.
17 Meanwhile. Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.
18 For a man is proved worthy, not by his self-commendation, but when he is commended by the Lord.