1. But I myself, Paul, am begging you, through the meekness and modesty of Christ. I am certainly, by appearances, lowly among you, yet I have confidence in you, even while I am absent.
2. So I am petitioning you, lest I be bold, when present, with that bold confidence that I am considered to have by certain ones who judge us as if we were walking according to the flesh.
3. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh.
4. For the weapons of our battles are not carnal, yet still they are powerful with God, unto the destruction of fortifications: tearing down every counsel
5. and height that extols itself contrary to the wisdom of God, and leading every intellect into the captivity of obedience to Christ,
6. and standing ready to repudiate every disobedience, when your own obedience has been fulfilled.
7. Consider the things that are in accord with appearances. If anyone trusts that by these things he belongs to Christ, let him reconsider this within himself. For just as he belongs to Christ, so also do we.
8. And if I were even to glory somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord has given to us for your edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed.
9. But let it not be said that I am scaring you by means of epistles.
10. For they say: “His epistles, indeed, are weighty and strong. But his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is contemptible.”
11. Let someone like this realize that whatever we are in word through epistles, while absent: we are much the same in deed, while present.
12. For we would not dare to interpose or compare ourselves with certain ones who commend themselves. But we measure ourselves by ourselves, and we compare ourselves with ourselves.
13. Thus, we will not glory beyond our measure, but rather according to the measure of the limit which God has measured out to us, a measure which extends even to you.
14. For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we are not able to reach as far as you are able. For we have gone even as far as you have in the Gospel of Christ.
15. We are not glorying immeasurably over the labors of others. Instead, we hold on to the hope of your growing faith, so as to be magnified in you, according to our own limits, but in abundance,
16. and even so as to evangelize in those places that are beyond you, not in order to glory in the measure of others, but rather in those things which have already been prepared.
17. But whoever glories, let him glory in the Lord.
18. For it is not he who commends himself who is approved, but rather he whom God commends.