we wear ourselves out with hard work. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 113
when we are insulted, we answer back with kind words. We are no more than this world's garbage; we are the scum of the earth to this very moment!
I write this to you, not because I want to make you feel ashamed, but to instruct you as my own dear children.
For even if you have ten thousand guardians in your Christian life, you have only one father. For in your life in union with Christ Jesus I have become your father by bringing the Good News to you.
I beg you, then, to follow my example. 217
For this purpose I am sending to you Timothy, who is my own dear and faithful son in the Christian life. He will remind you of the principles which I follow in the new life in union with Christ Jesus and which I teach in all the churches everywhere.
Some of you have become proud because you have thought that I would not be coming to visit you.
If the Lord is willing, however, I will come to you soon, and then I will find out for myself the power which these proud people have, and not just what they say.
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of words but of power.
Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in a spirit of love and gentleness?