1 To boast is not suitable for me; I will come to visions and revelations from the Lord. - 2 I knew a man in Christ fourteen years ago; that such a one (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not: God knows;) was caught away to the third heaven. 3 I also know that such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knows,) 4 was caught away to Paradise, and heard words not to be spoken, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; but of myself I will not boast, unless in my infirmities. 6 For though I should choose to boast, I would not be void of understanding: for I will speak the truth. But I forbear, lest any one should think of me more than what he sees me to be, or what he hears of me. 7 And, lest I should be too much exalted by the excellence of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I might not be too much exalted. 8 With regard to this, I three times entreated the Lord that it might leave me; 9 and he said to me: My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Christ may abide upon me. 10 For this reason, I take pleasure in infirmities, in outrages, in necessities, in persecutions, in straits, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I have become of no understanding; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you: I am in no respect inferior to the very greatest of the apostles, although I am nothing. 12 Truly, the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it in which you were inferior to other churches, unless in this that I did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, I am ready the third time to come to you, and I will not burden you: for I seek not yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up treasure for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 I, indeed, will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. 16 Be it so, indeed; I did not burden you; but being crafty, I caught you by deceit. 17 Did I overreach you by any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I exhorted Titus, and with him sent the brother. Did Titus overreach you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?
19 Do you think again that we offer you a defense of ourselves? We speak all these things before God in Christ, beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear, lest when I come I shall find you not, such as I wish, and I shall be found by you not such as you wish: lest there shall be contentions, envies, excitements, strife, evil speaking, whisperings, party spirit, disorderly conduct: 21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn over many of those who have already sinned, and have not repented of the uncleanness and lewdness and wantonness which they have committed.