1I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the 2meekness and gentleness of Christ--I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!--
I beg of you 3that when I am present I may not have to show 4boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the 5weapons of 6our warfare are not of the flesh but have 7divine power 8to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and 9every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to 10obey Christ,
11being ready to punish every disobedience, 12when your obedience is complete.
13Look at what is before your eyes. 14If anyone is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that just as 15he is Christ's, 16so also are we.
For even if I boast a little too much of 17our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.
I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.
For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but 18his bodily presence is weak, and 19his speech of no account."
Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.
Not that we dare to classify or 20compare ourselves with some of those who 21are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are 22without understanding.
But we will not boast 23beyond limits, but will 24boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, 25to reach even to you.
For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. 26For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.
We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that 27as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be 28greatly enlarged,
so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence.
"Let 29the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."
For it is 30not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one 31whom the Lord commends.