12 I have to boast; it is not good for me, but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2* I know of a man in Christ fourteen years ago, whether in body I do not know or whether outside the body I do not know, God knows,—of that person’s being snatched up to the third heaven; 3* and I know that man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) 4 to have been snatched up into Paradise and heard unutterable words which it is not permissible for a man to speak. 5* As to that person I will boast, but as to myself I will do no boasting except of my weaknesses. 6 For if I do choose to boast I shall not be silly, for I shall be speaking the truth; but I am holding back for fear somebody should rate me above what he sees me to be or hears from me 7 by the very extraordinariness of the revelations. For which reason, in order that I may not feel too lofty, I was given a thorn for my flesh, a messenger of Satan’s to bang me about in order that I may not feel too lofty. 8 As to this I appealed to the Lord three times to have it leave me; 9 and he has said to me “My grace suffices you; for power comes to its completion in weakness.” Most gladly, then, will I boast rather of weaknesses, in order that the Christ’s power may settle on me. 10* For which reason I welcome weaknesses—brutal treatment, necessities, persecutions, and tight pinches for Christ; for when I am weak, then I am powerful.
11 I have become silly; you drove me to it. For I ought to be getting recommendations from you. For there is nothing in which I have fallen behind the superlative apostles, even if I do not amount to anything. 12 The tokens of the apostle have been produced among you with all perseverance, by tokens and wonders and miracles. 13 For what point is there in which you were left worse off than the rest of the churches, except that I did not personally squeeze you? excuse me for this unfairness. 14 This makes the third time now that I have been ready to come to you, and I will not squeeze you, for I am not after what is yours but after you. For the children ought not to be laying by for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15* And I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I specially love you am I less loved?— 16 But say I did not burden you myself, but, foxy that I am, I caught you by trickery. 17 Of those that I have sent to you has there been anyone through whom I took an advantage of you? 18* I invited Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him; did Titus take any advantage of you? did we not walk by the same spirit? in the same steps?
19* You have been thinking all along that it was to you we were making our defense; it is before God that we have been speaking in Christ. But everything, dear friends, has been for your upbuilding; 20 for I have been afraid that possibly when I come I may find you not such as I want to, and have you find me such as you do not want to; that possibly quarreling, jealousy, fits of passions, schemes of church politics, detractions, whisperings, inflated airs, disorders— 21* that when I come again God is going to humble me in your presence and I am to mourn over great numbers of those who had previously sinned and have not repented over the nastiness and unchastity and indecency they have practiced.