1Christ is humble and free of pride. Because of this, I make my appeal to you. I, Paul, am the one you call ‘shy’ when I am face to face with you. But when I am away from you, you think I am ‘bold’ towards you.2I am coming to see you. Please don’t make me be as bold as I expect to be towards some people. They think that I live the way the people of this world live.3I do live in the world. But I don’t fight my battles the way the people of the world do.4The weapons I fight with are not the weapons the world uses. In fact, it is just the opposite. My weapons have the power of God to destroy the camps of the enemy.5I destroy every claim and every reason that keeps people from knowing God. I keep every thought under control in order to make it obey Christ.6Until you have obeyed completely, I will be ready to punish you every time you don’t obey.7You are judging only by how things look on the surface. Suppose someone is sure they belong to Christ. Then they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.8Do I boast too much about the authority the Lord gave me? If I do, it’s because I want to build you up, not tear you down. And I’m not ashamed of that kind of boasting.9Don’t think that I’m trying to scare you with my letters.10Some say, ‘His letters sound important. They are powerful. But in person he doesn’t seem like much. And what he says doesn’t amount to anything.’11People like that have a lot to learn. What I say in my letters when I’m away from you, I will do in my actions when I’m with you.12I don’t dare to compare myself with those who praise themselves. I’m not that kind of person. They measure themselves by themselves. They compare themselves with themselves. When they do that, they are not wise.13But I won’t boast more than I should. God himself has given me an opportunity for serving. I will only boast about what I have done with that opportunity. This opportunity for serving also includes you.14I am not going too far in my boasting. I would be going too far if I hadn’t come to where you live. But I did get there with the good news about Christ.15And I won’t boast about work done by others. If I did, I would be boasting more than I should. As your faith continues to grow, I hope that my work among you will greatly increase.16Then I will be able to preach the good news in the areas beyond you. I don’t want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory.17But, ‘The one who boasts should boast about what the Lord has done.’ (Jer 9:24)18Those who praise themselves are not accepted. Those the Lord praises are accepted.
2 Corinthians 10
English Standard Version
Paul Defends His Ministry
1I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— (Zec 9:9; Mt 11:29; Ro 12:1; Php 2:7)2I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. (1Co 4:18; 1Co 4:21; 2Co 10:6; 2Co 13:2; 2Co 13:10)3For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (Jer 1:10; 1Co 2:5; 1Co 9:7; 2Co 6:7; 2Co 13:3; Eph 6:11; 1Th 5:8)5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (Isa 2:11; Ro 5:19; 2Co 9:13)6being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2Co 2:9; 2Co 7:15; 2Co 10:2)7Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. (Joh 7:24; 1Co 1:12; 1Co 3:23; 1Co 9:1; 1Co 14:37; 2Co 5:12; 2Co 11:23; Ga 1:12; 1Jo 4:6)8For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. (2Co 13:10)9I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.10For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” (1Co 1:17; 2Co 11:21; 2Co 12:7)11Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.12Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. (Pr 26:12; Pr 27:2; 1Co 2:13; 2Co 3:1; 2Co 10:18; 2Co 12:6)13But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. (Ro 12:3; Ro 15:20; 2Co 10:15)14For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. (1Co 3:5; 1Co 4:15; 1Co 9:1)15We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, (Ac 5:13; 2Th 1:3)16so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence.17“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (Jer 9:23; 1Co 1:31)18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (Ro 2:29; 1Co 4:5; 2Co 10:12)