18Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” ;20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”21So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours,22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,23and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
1This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.6Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!9For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.10We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.