1. It is I, Paul, who by the humility and kindness of Christ appeal to you, the Paul "who is timid among you and bold when far away from you!"
2. Do not force me to act boldly when I come, as I am determined and will dare to act against some people who think that I act from human motives.
3. Human is our condition but not our fight.
4. Our weapons for this fight are not human but they have divine power to destroy strongholds - those arguments
5. and haughty thoughts which oppose the knowledge of God. They disarm the conceited minds, that they obey Christ.
6. So I am prepared to punish any disobedience when you should show perfect obedience.
7. See things as they really are. If someone is convinced that he belongs to Christ, let him consider that just as he is Christ's, so am I.
8. Although I may seem too confident in the authority that the Lord gave me for building you up and not for pulling you down, I will not be put to shame for saying this.
9. Do not think that I can only frighten you with letters.
10. "His letters are severe and strong," some say, "but as he is, he has no presence and he is a poor speaker."
11. To such people I say, "Be careful: what my letters say from afar, is what I will do when I come."
12. How could I venture to equate or compare myself with some people who proclaim their own merits? Fools! They measure themselves with their own measure and compare themselves with themselves.
13. As for me, I will not boast beyond measure, for I will not go past the limits that the God of true measure has set for me: He gave the measuring stick when he made me set foot in your place.
14. It is not the same when someone goes beyond his field to where he has not been able to set foot. But I am he who first reached you with the Gospel of Christ.
15. I am not making myself important where others have worked. On the contrary, we hope that as your faith increases, so too our area of ministry among you will be enlarged without going beyond our limit.
16. So we shall bring the Gospel to places beyond yours without entering into the field of others, or boasting and making ourselves important where the work is already done.
17. Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.
18. It is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.