Paul's Defense Of His Ministry
By the Meekness and Gentleness of Christ,
I appeal to you—I Paul,
Who am 'Timid' when face to face with you,
But 'Bold' when away!
2 I beg you that when I come
I may not have to be as Bold as I expect to be
Toward some people who think
THAT WE LIVE BY THE STANDARDS OF THIS WORLD.
3 FOR THOUGH WE LIVE IN THE WORLD,
WE DO NOT WAGE WAR AS THE WORLD DOES.
4 THE WEAPONS WE FIGHT WITH
ARE NOT THE WEAPONS OF THE WORLD.
ON THE CONTRARY,
THEY HAVE DIVINE POWER
TO DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS.
5 WE DEMOLISH ARGUMENTS
AND EVERY PRETENSION
THAT SETS ITSELF UP AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,
AND WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT
TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST.
6 And we will be ready to Punish every Act of Disobedience,
Once your Obedience is complete.
7 You are looking only on the surface of things.
If anyone is Confident that he belongs to Christ,
He should consider again
That we belong to Christ just as much as he.
8 For even if I Boast somewhat freely
About the authority the Lord gave us
For building you up
Rather than pulling you down,
I will not be ashamed of it.
9 I do not want to seem to be
Trying to frighten you with my letters.
10 For some say,
'His letters are Weighty and Forceful,
But in person he is Unimpressive
And his speaking amounts to nothing.'
11 Such people should realize
That what we are in our letters when we are absent,
We will be in our Actions when we are Present.
12 We do not dare to Classify or compare ourselves
With some who Commend themselves with themselves,
They are not Wise.
13 We, however, will not Boast beyond proper limits,
But will confine our Boasting
To the field God has assigned to us,
A field that reaches even to you.
14 We are not going too far in our Boasting,
As would be the case of we had not come to you,
For we did get as far as you
With the Gospel of Christ.
15 Neither do we go beyond our limits
By Boasting of work done by others.
OUR HOPE IS THAT,
AS YOUR FAITH CONTINUES TO GROW,
OUR AREA OF ACTIVITY AMONG YOU
WILL GREATLY EXPAND,
16 SO THAT WE CAN PREACH THE GOSPEL
IN THE REGIONS BEYOND YOU.
For we do not want to Boast about work already done
In another man's Territory.
17 But, 'Let him who Boasts Boast in the Lord.'
18 FOR IT IS NOT THE ONE
WHO COMMENDS HIMSELF WHO IS APPROVED,
BUT THE ONE WHO THE LORD COMMENDS.
(2 Corinthians 10)