1 (Really, to me boasting is not helpful.) For I will come to visions and revelations of Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in body, I know not, or whether outside the body, I know not, God knows) such a man was caught up as far as the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man (whether in body, or whether outside the body, I know not, God knows) 4 that he was caught up into the paradise, and heard inexpressible sayings that are not permitted for a man to utter. 5 For such a man I will boast, but for myself I will not boast, except in my weaknesses. 6 For if I should want to boast, I will not be foolish, for I will speak the truth. But I refrain lest any man should reckon to me above what he sees of me or hears anything from me. 7 And so that I might not be over exalted by the extraordinariness of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, an agent of Satan so that he would buffet me, so that I would not be over exalted. 8 I besought the Lord thrice about this, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made fully perfect in weakness. More gladly therefore I will boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of the Christ may reside in me. 10 Therefore I am pleased in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in restrictions, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have become foolish, boasting. Ye compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I came short in nothing of those, superlative apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 Indeed the signs of the apostle were performed among you in all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For what is there which ye were inferior to the other congregations? Except that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, a third time I fare readily to come to you, and I will not be burdensome to you, for I seek not the things of you, but you. For the children ought not lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I most gladly will spend, and will be spent for your souls. Even though more earnestly loving you, the worse I am loved. 16 But let it be. I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being clever, I caught you with bait. 17 Any man of whom I have sent to you, did I exploit you through him? 18 I encouraged Titus, and I sent the brother with him. Did Titus exploit you in anything? Did we not walk in the same spirit, not in the same steps?
19 Again, do ye think that we are making defense to you? In the sight of God we speak in Christ. But all things, beloved, are for your edification. 20 For I fear lest somehow, having come, I may find you not such as I want, and I may be found by you such as ye do not want, lest somehow there be strifes, envyings, wraths, selfish ambitions, slanderings, whisperings, puffings up, t 21 lest having come again my God will make me low toward you, and I will bewail many of those who have sinned previously, and who did not repent from the trash and fornication and licentiousness that they committed.