1 Certainly it is not expedient for me to glory, but I will come to the visions and the revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell; God knows) 4 who was caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will glory, yet of myself I will not glory, except in my weaknesses. 6 Therefore if I should desire to glory in these things, I should not be a fool; for I would say the truth, but now I forbear lest anyone should think of me above that which he sees me to be or that he hears of me. 7 And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me above measure, there is given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord three times that it might be taken from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather glory in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content in weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I have been a fool, glorying; ye have compelled me; for I ought to have been commended of you, for in nothing am I behind the grandiose apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of the apostle were worked out among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and power. 13 For what is it in which ye were inferior to the other congregations except in that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be burdensome to you, for I seek not your things, but you; for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be utterly spent for your souls though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved. 16 But be it so, I did not burden you; nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17 Did I make a gain of you by any of those whom I sent unto you? 18 I besought Titus and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus defraud you? Did we not walk in the same Spirit and in the same steps?
19 Again, do ye think that we excuse ourselves unto you? We speak before God in Christ, but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I desire and that I shall be found unto you such as ye desire not, lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, rumours, tumults, 21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I would have to mourn over many who have sinned already and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.