1 People should regard us as servants of Christ. God has trusted us with his secrets.
2 It is required of stewards that a man is trustworthy.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.
4 I know nothing against myself. Yet this does not acquit me, but he that judges me is God.
5 Do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and make apparent the counsels of the hearts. Then each mans praise will come from God.
6 Brothers I have applied these things to myself and to Apollos for your sakes. That way you might learn the value of the saying: Do not go beyond the things written. None of you should be arrogant self-important against one another.
7 For who made you superior to different than another? What do you have that you did not receive? If you did receive it, why do you brag, as if you did not receive it?
8 You are full and now you are rich, you have reigned as kings without us. I would to God you did reign, that we also might reign with you.
9 For I think that God has placed us apostles last as men appointed to death. We are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ. But you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honorable, but we are despised.
11 Even to this present hour we both hunger and thirst. We are naked. We are treated badly and we are homeless.
12 We labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it;
13 being slandered, we answer kindly. We are made as the filth of the world and are the refuse of all things to this day.
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
15 Though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Christ Jesus I have given birth to you through the good news.
16 For this reason I urge you to imitate me.
17 I send Timothy, my beloved son faithful in the Lord, to you for this purpose. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ, just as I teach it in every congregation.
18 Now some have become proud arrogant, thinking that I would not come to you.
19 But I will come to you shortly, if God wills, and I will get to know what the proud ones do and not what they say, but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with punishment or with love, and in the mild spirit of meekness?