1 I MYSELF, Paul, beg you by the gentleness and sweet reasonableness of Christ \'97 I who "to your face am humble when among you, but when absent am bold toward you" \'97
2 I pray that I may not when present have to be bold with the confidence with which I expect to show my courage against some who think of us as living according to the flesh.
3 For although living in the flesh we do not carry on our warfare according to the flesh,
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not weapons of the flesh, but powerful under God for the destruction of fortresses.
5 We overthrow reasonings and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought into obedience to Christ
6 and are ready to take vengeance upon every disobedience when your obedience is complete.
7 Look at what is right before your eyes. If any one is confident that he belongs to Christ, let him again consider this regarding himself, that just as he belongs to Christ so also do we.
8 For if I boast somewhat excessively of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for pulling you down, I shall not be ashamed.
9 Let me not seem as if meaning to frighten you by letters.
10 Because, "His letters," they say, "are mighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak and his speaking amounts to nothing."
11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in words by letters when absent such we will be in deeds when present.
12 We do not venture to class ourselves or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But they, measuring themselves among themselves and comparing themselves with themselves, do not understand.
13 We will not boast beyond measure, but according to the measure of the measuring rod which God assigned to us, and that reaches as far as you.
14 For we are not stretching ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for we were the first to reach you with the good news of Christ.
15 We are not boasting beyond measure in the labors of others, but we have hope that as your faith grows we may have larger influence among you according to our measure and beyond,
16 so that we may tell the good news to the regions lying beyond you and not boast of things already done in some other man's territory.
17 "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
18 For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but whom the Lord commends.