2. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up to the third heaven. (Whether this man was in the body, I do not know; or out of the body, I do not know—God knows.)
3. Now I know such a man (whether taken up in the body, or out of the body, I do not know—God knows),
4. And that he was caught up to Paradise, and heard unutterable sayings, which a man is not permitted to speak.
5. I will boast of such a one as this; but of myself I personally will not boast, except concerning my weaknesses.
6. But even if I choose to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. However, I will forbear, lest anyone think of me above what he sees me to be, or what he hears from me.
8. I besought the Lord three times for this, that it might depart from me;
9. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you; for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly will I boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10. For this reason, I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
11. I have become a fool in this boasting. You have forced me to do so, when I ought to have been commended by you. For in no way was I inferior to those highly exalted so-called apostles—even if I am nothing.
12. Indeed, the signs of an apostle were demonstrated by me in all patience, in signs and wonders and miracles among you.
13. For in what way was it that you were inferior to the other churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong.
14. Behold, a third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not burden you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for the children are not obligated to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15. Now I will most happily spend, and am willing to be totally spent, for your souls; although the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
16. Yet even so, I did not burden you; but being crafty, I caught you with guile.
17. Did I make a gain of you by any of those whom I sent to you?
18. I urged Titus to go to you and sent with him our brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit and in the same steps?
19. Again, do you think that we are making an excuse to you? We speak before God in Christ; and everything we do, beloved, is for your edification.
20. But I fear that when I come, perhaps I may find you in a state such as I do not wish, and I may be found by you such as you do not wish; that there may be strifes, jealousies, indignations, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, puffings up, commotions;
21. And that when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall grieve over many of those who have already sinned, and have not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and licentiousness that they have practiced.
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