I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.16
Even if I should choose to boast,2 I would not be a fool,3 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,4 there was given me a thorn in my flesh,5 a messenger of Satan,6 to torment me.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.79
But he said to me, "My grace8 is sufficient for you, for my power9 is made perfect in weakness.10"11 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 delight12 in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,13 in persecutions,14 in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.15
I have made a fool of myself,16 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,"17 even though I am nothing.1812
The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles19--were done among you with great perseverance.
How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?20 Forgive me this wrong!2114
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time,22 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,23 but parents for their children.2415
So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.25 If I love you more,26 will you love me less?