This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and 1stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
2For I am not aware of anything against myself, 3but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
Therefore 4do not pronounce judgment before the time, 5before the Lord comes, 6who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. 7Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may 8be puffed up in favor of one against another.
For who sees anything different in you? 9What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, 10like men sentenced to death, because we 11have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
12We are fools for Christ's sake, but 13you are wise in Christ. 14We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
To the present hour 15we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and 16buffeted and 17homeless,
and we 18labor, working with our own hands. 19When reviled, we bless; 20when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we entreat. 21We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, 22the refuse of all things.
I do not write these things 23to make you ashamed, but to admonish you 24as my beloved children.
For 25though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For 26I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
I urge you, then, 27be imitators of me.
That is why 28I sent you Timothy, 29my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ,30as I teach them everywhere in every church.
Some are 31arrogant, 32as though I were not coming to you.
But 33I 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 34the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
What do you wish? 35Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?