1 It is needful for me to glory, though, indeed, not profitable; but 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 apart from the body, I know not, God knoweth), 4 that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unutterable sayings, which it is not lawful for a man to speak. 5 On behalf of such a one I will glory; but on my own behalf I will not glory, except in my weaknesses. 6 For, if I should desire to glory, I would not be foolish, for I shall be speaking truth; but I forbear, lest some one should think, in regard to me, above what he sees me to be, or hears from me. 7 And, that I might not be exalted overmuch by the exceeding greatness 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 exalted overmuch. 8 Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And He hath said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you; for My power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Wherefore, I take pleasure in weaknesses, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I powerful.
11 I have become foolish; ye compelled me; for I ought to be commended by you; for in nothing was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even if I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought out among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For what is there in which ye were made inferior to the rest of the assemblies, except that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong!
14 Behold, this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be burdensome 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 most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I to be loved the less? 16 But be it so, I did not burden you; but, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17 Did I gain advantage over you through any one of those whom I have sent to you? 18 I entreated Titus, and sent with him the brother. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? did we not walk in the same steps?
19 Think ye all this time that we are excusing ourselves to you? Before God in Christ we are speaking; and all, beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear, lest by any means, when I come, I should find you not such as I desire, and that I, too, should be found by you such as ye do not desire; lest, by any means, there should be strife, jealousy, wraths, factions, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults; 21 lest, when I come again, my God should humble me before you, and I should mourn for many of those who have heretofore sinned, and repented not of the uncleanness, and fornication and lasciviousness which they practiced.