For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive?1 And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich!2 You have become kings--and that without us! How I wish that you really had become kings so that we might be kings with you!
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die3 in the arena. We have been made a spectacle4 to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.
We are fools for Christ,5 but you are so wise in Christ!6 We are weak, but you are strong!7 You are honored, we are dishonored!
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.812
We work hard with our own hands.9 When we are cursed, we bless;10 when we are persecuted,11 we endure it;
when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse12 of the world.
I am not writing this to shame you,13 but to warn you, as my dear children.1415
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father15 through the gospel.1616
Therefore I urge you to imitate me.1717
For this reason I am sending to you18 Timothy,19 my son20 whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.21