12This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord.G4851G3756G4851G3427G1211G2744G1063G2064G1519G3701G2532G602G2962 2I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows.G1492G444G1722G5547G4253G1180G2094G4253G1535G1722G4983G3756G1492G1535G1622G4983G3756G1492G2316G1492G5108G726G2193G5154G3772 3Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do knowG2532G1492G5108G444G1535G1722G4983G1535G1622G4983G3756G1492G2316G1492 4that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.G3754G726G1519G3857G2532G191G731G4487G3739G1832G3756G1832G444G2980 5That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses.G5228G5108G2744G1161G5228G1683G2744G3756G2744G1508G1722G3450G769 6If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message,G1063G1437G2309G2744G2071G3756G2071G878G1063G2046G225G1161G5339G3361G5100G3049G1519G1691G5228G3739G991G3165G2228G191G5100G1537G1700 7even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.G2532G3363G5229G5236G602G1325G3427G4647G4561G32G4566G2443G2852G3165G3363G5229 8Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.G5228G5127G3870G2962G5151G2443G868G575G1700 9Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.G2532G2046G3427G3450G5485G714G4671G1063G3450G1411G5048G1722G769G2236G3767G2744G3123G2744G1722G3450G769G2443G1411G5547G1981G1909G1691 10That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.G1352G2106G1722G769G1722G5196G1722G318G1722G1375G1722G4730G5228G5547G5228G1063G3752G770G5119G1510G1415 11You have made me act like a fool—boasting like this. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these “super apostles,” even though I am nothing at all.G1096G878G2744G5210G315G3165G1063G1473G3784G4921G5259G5216G1063G3762G5302G3029G652G5228G1499G1510G3762 12When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you.G3303G4592G652G2716G1722G5213G1722G3956G5281G1722G4592G2532G5059G2532G1411 13The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong!G1063G5101G2076G3739G2274G5228G3062G1577G1508G3754G1473G846G2655G3756G2655G5216G5483G3427G5026G93 14Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children.G2400G5154G2192G2093G2064G4314G5209G2532G2655G3756G2655G5216G1063G2212G3756G5216G235G5209G1063G5043G3784G3756G2343G1118G235G1118G5043 15I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.G1161G1473G2236G1159G2532G1550G5228G5590G5216G1499G4056G25G5209G2276G25 16Some of you admit I was not a burden to you. But others still think I was sneaky and took advantage of you by trickery.G1161G2077G1473G2599G3756G2599G5209G235G5225G3835G2983G5209G1388 17But how? Did any of the men I sent to you take advantage of you?G4122G3361G5209G1223G5100G846G3739G649G4314G5209 18When I urged Titus to visit you and sent our other brother with him, did Titus take advantage of you? No! For we have the same spirit and walk in each other’s steps, doing things the same way.G3870G5103G2532G4882G80G4122G3387G5103G4122G5209G4043G3756G846G4151G3756G846G2487 19Perhaps you think we’re saying these things just to defend ourselves. No, we tell you this as Christ’s servants, and with God as our witness. Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you.G3825G1380G3754G626G5213G2980G2714G2316G1722G5547G1161G3956G27G5228G5216G3619 20For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.G1063G5399G3381G4458G2064G2147G3756G2147G5209G3634G2309G2504G2147G5213G3634G2309G3756G3381G4458G2054G2205G2372G2052G2636G5587G5450G181 21Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.G3361G2064G3825G3450G2316G5013G3165G4314G5209G2532G3996G4183G3588G4258G2532G3340G3361G3340G1909G167G2532G4202G2532G766G3739G4238
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.