and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.
I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
For though you might have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
I appeal to you, then, be imitators of me.
For this reason I sent a you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
But some of you, thinking that I am not coming to you, have become arrogant.
But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.
For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.
What would you prefer? Am I to come to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)