1 But I Paul exhort you through the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who before your face am indeed humble among you, but being absent am bold towards you: 2 but I pray, that being present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I consider myself bold towards certain ones who regard us as walking about according to the flesh. 3 For walking in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh; 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to God unto the pulling down of strongholds; 5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being ready to avenge every disobedience, when your obedience may be complete.
7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If any has trusted to himself that he belongs to Christ, let him again consider this in reference to himself, that as he belongs to Christ, so do we also. 8 For if I shall in any thing the more abundantly boast concerning our power which the Lord gave us for your edification, and not for your destruction, I will not be ashamed: 9 in order that I may not seem as it were to terrify you by my letters. 10 Because they say, His letters are indeed weighty and powerful; but the presence of his body is weak, and his speech contemptible. 11 Let such a one consider this, that, such as we are in word by our letters while absent, such we really are in work being present.
12 For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with certain ones of those who recommend themselves: but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves to themselves, are not wise. 13 But we will not boast in things without measure, but according to the measure of the rule which measure God has measured to us, to reach even unto you. 14 For not as not reaching unto you do we stretch ourselves, for we have advanced in the gospel of Christ even unto you: 15 and not boasting in things without measure, in the labors of others, but having hope of your faith increasing among you, to be magnified according to our rule exceedingly, 16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, not to glory according to the rule of others in things made ready. 17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord; 18 for he that commends himself is not approved, but whom the Lord commends.