1 I, Paul, myself urge you, by the meekness and gentleness of ChristI who am humble when face to face with you, but bold to you when I am away!
2 I beg you that when I am present I may not have to be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war as the flesh does.
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,
6 and we are ready to punish every disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
7 You look at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christs, so also are we.
8 For even if I boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame.
9 I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters.
10 For they say, »His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is weak, and his speech of no account.«
11 Let such people realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
12 For we do not dare to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
13 But we will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has apportioned to us, a field that reaches even to you.
14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you; we were the first to come even as far as you with the gospel of Christ.
15 We do not go beyond limits by boasting in other mens labors, but our hope is that as your faith grows, our sphere among you may be greatly enlarged,
16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast of work already done in another man's territory.
17 But, »Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.«
18 For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.