Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich!1 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 die2 in the arena. We have been made a spectacle3 to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men.
We are fools for Christ,4 but you are so wise in Christ!5 We are weak, but you are strong!6 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.712
We work hard with our own hands.8 When we are cursed, we bless;9 when we are persecuted,10 we endure it;
when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse11 of the world.
I am not writing this to shame you,12 but to warn you, as my dear children.1315
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father14 through the gospel.1516
Therefore I urge you to imitate me.1617
For this reason I am sending to you17 Timothy,18 my son19 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.2018
Some of you have become arrogant,21 as if I were not coming to you.2219
But I will come to you very soon,23 if the Lord is willing,24 and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of25 talk but of power.2621
What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip,27 or in love and with a gentle spirit?