For this reason, being absent, I write these things, that I may not use sharpness when present, with the power which the Lord has given me for building up, and not for pulling down.
For if I should even boast some of our authority which the Lord gave for your edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed.
And I wrote the same to you that coming I might not have sorrow for those in whom I ought to have joy, having trusted in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.
This testimony is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
What do you wish? shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of meekness?
and I desire that I may not be bold when present, with that confidence which I design to use against some who speak 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 such as you wish not; lest there shall be strife, envy, anger, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, pride, dissensions;
I have said before, and I now foretell as if present a second time, although absent, to those who have already sinned and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare;
For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.