1 LET a man view us as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries.
2 Moreover, in the case of stewards it is required that a man be found faithful.
3 But it is of very slight importance to me to be judged by you or any human court. I do not even pass judgment on myself.
4 For I am not conscious of any wrong, but I am not proved by that to be faultless. The Lord is my judge.
5 So do not judge anything before the time, before the Lord comes. He will throw light on the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the purposes of hearts. Then each one will have his praise from God.
6 All this, brethren, I have applied to myself and Apollos for your sake, that you may learn the maxim, "Nothing beyond what is written," and may not be puffed up in partisanship for one against the other.
7 For who gives you superiority? What have you that you did not receive? Why are you boasting as if you had not received it?
8 You are already fully satisfied. You have already become rich. You have become kings without us. Would that you had become kings so that we might be kings with you!
9 For it seems to me that God has set us apostles out last of all as men doomed to death, that we may be a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men.
10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you have glory, but we are despised.
11 Up to this present hour we are hungry and thirsty and naked and beaten. We wander about
12 and labor, working with our own hands. When abused we bless, when persecuted we endure it,
13 when slandered we entreat. We have come to be, as it were, the sweepings of the world, the riffraff of all things up to now.
14 I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.
15 For if you have ten thousand teachers in Christ, still you have not many fathers. For I was your father in Christ Jesus through the good news.
16 So I beg you to be imitators of me.
17 For this very purpose I have sent to you Timothy, who is my loved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ \'97 how I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Some persons have become puffed up, thinking that I am not coming to you.
19 But I shall come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will find out, not the talk of these puffed-up ones, but their power.
20 For the kingdom of God is not in talk, but in power.
21 Which do you wish? Shall I come with a rod or in love and a spirit of gentleness?