1 I MUST boast, though it is unprofitable. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ fourteen years ago \'97 whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not; God knows \'97 such a man caught up to the third heaven.
3 I know such a man \'97 whether in the body or out of the body I know not; God knows \'97
4 that he was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words which it is not lawful for man to speak.
5 Of such a one I will boast, but of myself I will not boast except of my weaknesses.
6 Even if I choose to boast I shall not be foolish, for I shall speak the truth. But I guard myself that no one may think of me beyond what he sees me to be, or hears from me,
7 and because of the surpassing nature of the revelations. For this reason, that I should not be puffed up, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan, to torment me, so that I should not be puffed up.
8 Regarding this I three times begged the Lord that it might leave me.
9 But he has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you; for power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly then will I boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may abide upon me.
10 Therefore I rejoice in weaknesses, in rough treatment, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have become foolish; you made me. For I ought to have been recommended by you. For in nothing have I been inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am nothing.
12 The signs of an apostle were performed among you in all patience by miracles and wonders and deeds of power.
13 What is there in which you were made inferior to the rest of the churches except that I was not a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong.
14 Now this third time I am ready to come to you, and I shall not be a burden to you. For I am not seeking yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up money for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you too much, am I loved the less?
16 Be that as it may, I was not a burden to you. But being crafty I caught you with cunning?
17 Did I take advantage of you through any one of those I sent to you?
18 I begged Titus to go, and I sent along with him the brother. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?
19 Are you thinking all this while that we are defending ourselves to you? We are speaking before God in Christ. All this, beloved, is to build you up.
20 For I am afraid that when I come I shall not find you such as I wish, and I myself may not be found by you such as you wish. I am afraid that there may be strife, jealousy, anger, rivalry, slanders, whisperings, conceit, disorders.
21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humble me in your presence, and that I shall grieve over many of those who have been long sinning and have not repented of the impurity and unchastity and sensuality which they have practiced.