The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles1--were done among you with great perseverance.
How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?2 Forgive me this wrong!314
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time,4 and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents,5 but parents for their children.615
So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.7 If I love you more,8 will you love me less?
Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you.9 Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!
Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent you?
I urged10 Titus11 to go to you and I sent our brother12 with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not act in the same spirit and follow the same course?
Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God13 as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends,14 is for your strengthening.1520
For I am afraid that when I come16 I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be.17 I fear that there may be quarreling,18 jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions,19 slander,20 gossip,21 arrogance22 and disorder.2321
I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved24 over many who have sinned earlier25 and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery26 in which they have indulged.