11Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and 2revelationsaof the Lord.
I know a man3in Christ who fourteenyearsago-whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, 4Godknows-such a man was 5caught up to the 6thirdheaven.
And I knowhowsuch a man-whether in the bodyorapart from the body I do not know, 7Godknows -
was 8caught up into 9Paradise and heardinexpressiblewords, which a man is not permitted to speak.
510On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my ownbehalf I will not boast, except in regard to my 11weaknesses.
For if I do wish to boast I will not be 12foolish, 13for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that noone will credit me with morethan he sees in me orhears from me.
Because of the surpassinggreatness of the 14revelations, for thisreason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a 15thorn in the flesh, a 16messenger of Satan to btorment me-to keep me from exalting myself!
8Concerningthis I implored the Lord17threetimes that it might leave me.
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for 18power is perfected in weakness."Mostgladly, therefore, I will rather19boastcabout my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10Therefore20I amwellcontent with weaknesses, with dinsults, with 21distresses, with 22persecutions, with 23difficulties, 24for Christ'ssake; for 25when I amweak, then I amstrong.
I have become26foolish; you yourselvescompelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for 27in norespect was I inferior to the emosteminentapostles, eventhough28I am a nobody.
The f29signsgof a true apostle were performedamong you with allperseverance, by hsigns and wonders and imiracles.
For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that 30I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me 31thiswrong!
14Here32for thisthirdtime I amready to come to you, and I 33will not be a burden to you; for I 34do not seek what is yours, but 35you; for 36children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but 37parents for their children.
I will 38mostgladlyspend and be expended for your souls. If39I love you more, am I to be lovedless?
But be that as it may, I 40did not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I 41took you in by deceit.
1742Certainly I have not takenadvantage of you throughany of those whom I have sent to you, have I?
I 43urged44Titus to go, and I sent45the brother with him. Titus did not takeanyadvantage of you, did he? Did we not jconductourselveskin the same46spirit and walk 47in the samesteps?
19Allthistimelyou have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, 48it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and 49all for your upbuilding, 50beloved.
For I amafraid that perhaps51when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be 52strife, jealousy, 53angrytempers, 54disputes, 55slanders, 56gossip, 57arrogance, 58disturbances;
I am afraid that when I comeagain my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have 59sinned in the past and not repented of the 60impurity, mimmorality and sensualitywhich they have practiced.