1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such a one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) 4 How 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 will I boast: yet of myself I will not boast, but in my weaknesses. 6 For though I would desire to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees me to be, or that he hears of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the 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 depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore 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 strong.
11 I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended by you: for in nothing am I behind the very chief apostles, though I be nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were done 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, except it be 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 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 you, 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 took you with guile. 17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 18 I urged Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
19 Again, do you 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 wish, and that I shall be found unto you such as you desire not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, conceit, tumults: 21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn over many who have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and licentiousness which they have committed.