We work hard with our own hands. When we are insulted, we respond with a blessing; when we are harassed, we put up with it;
when our reputation is attacked, we are encouraging. We have become the scum of the earth, the waste that runs off everything, up to the present time.
I'm not writing these things to make you ashamed but to warn you, since you are my loved children.
You may have ten thousand mentors in Christ, but you don't have many fathers. I gave birth to you in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
so I encourage you to follow my example.
This is why I've sent Timothy to you; he's my loved and trusted child in the Lord; he'll remind you about my way of life in Christ Jesus. He'll teach the same way as I teach everywhere in every church.
Some have become arrogant as if I'm not coming to see you.
But, if the Lord is willing, I'll come to you soon. Then I won't focus on what these arrogant people say, but I'll find out what power they possess.
God's kingdom isn't about words but about power.
Which do you want? Should I come to you with a big stick to punish you, or with love and a gentle spirit?