1 It is indeed not expedient for me to boast; I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago,whether in the body, I know not, or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth,such a one caught up even to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man, whether in the body, or without the body, I know not; God knoweth, 4 that he 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 boast; but of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For if I should desire to boast, I should not be a fool; for I should say the truth; but I forbear, lest any one should think of me above what he seeth me to be, or what he heareth from me. 7 And that I might not be too much lifted up by the abundance 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 lifted up. 8 In respect to this I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me; 9 and he said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the strength of Christ may abide upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I have become a fool; it is ye that compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the very foremost apostles, though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you with all endurance, by signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For what is there in which ye were at disadvantage when compared with other churches, except that I myself was not a charge to you? Forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, I am ready to come to you this third time, and I will not be a charge to you; for I seek not yours, 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 spent for your souls; though the more I love you, the less I am loved. 16 But be it so; I at least was not a charge to you; but yet, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17 Did I make gain of you by any of those whom I have sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go to you, and with him I sent the brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?
19 Have ye been thinking this long time that we are defending ourselves to you? It is before God in Christ that we are speaking; but all things, beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and lest I too shall be found by you such as ye would not; lest there be wranglings, envying, wraths, rivalries, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults; 21 and lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many of those who have sinned already, and did not repent of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, which they committed.