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1 Corinthians 4:12-21 (New Century Version)

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12 We work hard with our own hands for our food. When people curse us, we bless them. When they hurt us, we put up with it. 13 When they tell evil lies about us, we speak nice words about them. Even today, we are treated as though we were the garbage of the world -- the filth of the earth. 14 I am not trying to make you feel ashamed. I am writing this to give you a warning as my own dear children. 15 For though you may have ten thousand teachers in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Through the Good News I became your father in Christ Jesus, 16 so I beg you, please follow my example. 17 That is why I am sending to you Timothy, my son in the Lord. I love Timothy, and he is faithful. He will help you remember my way of life in Christ Jesus, just as I teach it in all the churches everywhere. 18 Some of you have become proud, thinking that I will not come to you again. 19 But I will come to you very soon if the Lord wishes. Then I will know what the proud ones do, not what they say, 20 because the kingdom of God is present not in talk but in power. 21 Which do you want: that I come to you with punishment or with love and gentleness?
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