was caught up1 to paradise.2 He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.36
Even if I should choose to boast,4 I would not be a fool,5 because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations,6 there was given me a thorn in my flesh,7 a messenger of Satan,8 to torment me.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.99
But he said to me, "My grace10 is sufficient for you, for my power11 is made perfect in weakness.12"13 Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight14 in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,15 in persecutions,16 in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.17
I have made a fool of myself,18 but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles,"19 even though I am nothing.2012
The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles21--were done among you with great perseverance.
How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?22 Forgive me this wrong!2314
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time,24 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,25 but parents for their children.26