Paul’s Ministry Defended

1 Now I, Paul, appeal to you myself by the humility and gentleness of Christ, who {when I am present in person} [am] humble among you, but [when I] am absent am bold toward you--
2 now I ask [when I] am present [that I will] not [need] to be bold with the confidence [with] which I propose to show boldness toward some who consider us as behaving according to the flesh.
3 For [although we] are living in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh,
4 for the weapons of our warfare [are] not merely human, but powerful to God for the tearing down of fortresses, tearing down arguments
5 and all pride that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
6 And {we are ready} to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is completed.
7 You are looking at things according to appearance. If anyone is convinced he himself is Christ's, he should consider this concerning himself again: that just as Christ himself [is], so also [are] we.
8 For even if I boast somewhat more about our authority that the Lord gave [us] {for building you up and not for tearing you down}, I will not be put to shame,
9 so that I do not want to appear as if I were terrifying you by my letters,
10 because it is said, "His letters [are] severe and powerful, but his bodily presence [is] weak and his speech is of no account."
11 Let such a person consider this: that what we are in word by letters [when we] are absent, [we will] also [be] in {actions} [when we] are present.
12 For we do not dare to classify or to compare ourselves with some who commend themselves, but [they] themselves, [when they] measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, do not understand.
13 But we will not boast {beyond limits}, but according to the measure of the assignment that God has assigned to us as a measure to reach even as far as you.
14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as [if we] had not reached you, because we have reached even as far as you with the gospel of Christ,
15 not boasting {beyond limits} in the labors of others, but having hope [that as] your faith is growing to be enlarged greatly by you according to our assignment,
16 so that we may proclaim the gospel in the regions that lie beyond you, [and] not boast in the things accomplished in the [area] assigned to someone else.
17 But "the one who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."
18 For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but [the one] whom the Lord commends.