2 Corinthians 10 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 And now a personal but most urgent matter; I write in the gentle but firm spirit of Christ. I hear that I'm being painted as cringing and wishy-washy when I'm with you, but harsh and demanding when at a safe distance writing letters. 1 By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you--I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away!
2 Please don't force me to take a hard line when I'm present with you. Don't think that I'll hesitate a single minute to stand up to those who say I'm an unprincipled opportunist. Then they'll have to eat their words. 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.
3 The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way - never have and never will. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4 The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5 We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
6 Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
7 You stare and stare at the obvious, but you can't see the forest for the trees. If you're looking for a clear example of someone on Christ's side, why do you so quickly cut me out? Believe me, I am quite sure of my standing with Christ. 7 You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he.
8 You may think I overstate the authority he gave me, but I'm not backing off. Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of building you up, after all, not tearing you down. 8 For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.
9 And what's this talk about me bullying you with my letters? 9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.
10 "His letters are brawny and potent, but in person he's a weakling and mumbles when he talks." 10 For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing."
11 Such talk won't survive scrutiny. What we write when away, we do when present. We're the exact same people, absent or present, in letter or in person. 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
12 We're not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they're our superiors. We wouldn't dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point. 12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
13 We aren't making outrageous claims here. We're sticking to the limits of what God has set for us. But there can be no question that those limits reach to and include you. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.
14 We're not moving into someone else's "territory." We were already there with you, weren't we? We were the first ones to get there with the Message of Christ, right? So how can there be any question of overstepping our bounds by writing or visiting you? 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ.
15 We're not barging in on the rightful work of others, interfering with their ministries, demanding a place in the sun with them. What we're hoping for is that as your lives grow in faith, you'll play a part within our expanding work. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand,
16 And we'll all still be within the limits God sets as we proclaim the Message in countries beyond Corinth. But we have no intention of moving in on what others have done and taking credit for it. 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man's territory.
17 "If you want to claim credit, claim it for God." 17 But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
18 What you say about yourself means nothing in God's work. It's what God says about you that makes the difference. 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.