2 Corinthians 12 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 This boasting is all so foolish, but let me go on. Let me tell about the visions and revelations I received from the Lord. 1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
2 I was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know--God knows.
3 Whether my body was there or just my spirit, I don't know; only God knows. 3 And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows--
4 But I do know that I was caught up into paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be told. 4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
5 That experience is something worth boasting about, but I am not going to do it. I am going to boast only about my weaknesses. 5 I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.
6 I have plenty to boast about and would be no fool in doing it, because I would be telling the truth. But I won't do it. I don't want anyone to think more highly of me than what they can actually see in my life and my message, 6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say.
7 even though I have received wonderful revelations from God. But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud. 7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 Each time he said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
10 Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 You have made me act like a fool -- boasting like this. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these "super apostles," even though I am nothing at all. 11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.
12 When I was with you, I certainly gave you every proof that I am truly an apostle, sent to you by God himself. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. 12 The things that mark an apostle--signs, wonders and miracles--were done among you with great perseverance.
13 The only thing I didn't do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong! 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
14 Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don't want what you have; I want you. And anyway, little children don't pay for their parents' food. It's the other way around; parents supply food for their children. 14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for your spiritual good, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me. 15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?
16 Some of you admit I was not a burden to you. But they still think I was sneaky and took advantage of you by trickery. 16 Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!
17 But how? Did any of the men I sent to you take advantage of you? 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent you?
18 When I urged Titus to visit you and sent our other brother with him, did Titus take advantage of you? No, of course not! For we both have the same Spirit and walk in each other's steps, doing things the same way. 18 I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not act in the same spirit and follow the same course?
19 Perhaps you think we are saying all this just to defend ourselves. That isn't it at all. We tell you this as Christ's servants, and we know that God is listening. Everything we do, dear friends, is for your benefit. 19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.
20 For I am afraid that when I come to visit you I won't like what I find, and then you won't like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfishness, backstabbing, gossip, conceit, and disorderly behavior. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
21 Yes, I am afraid that when I come, God will humble me again because of you. And I will have to grieve because many of you who sinned earlier have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.