Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord has given me to edification, and not to destruction.
For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord has given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
This witness is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
What do you wish? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, though I think to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
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:
I told you before, and tell you again, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them who earlier have sinned, and to all others, that, if I come again, I will not spare:
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.