Even if I should choose to boast,1 I would not be a fool,2 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,3 there was given me a thorn in my flesh,4 a messenger of Satan,5 to torment me.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.69
But he said to me, "My grace7 is sufficient for you, for my power8 is made perfect in weakness.9"10 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 delight11 in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,12 in persecutions,13 in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.14
I have made a fool of myself,15 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,"16 even though I am nothing.1712
The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles18--were done among you with great perseverance.
How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?19 Forgive me this wrong!2014
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time,21 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,22 but parents for their children.2315
So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.24 If I love you more,25 will you love me less?
Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you.26 Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!