I Paul say to you, “Do not listen to those who say that I am afraid to rebuke you when I am with you and that I behave like people do who are not believers.”
2 Corinthians 10:1-6
1 Now I myself, Paul, appeal to you in a gentle and humble way, like Christ would. Certain people among you have falsely accused me by saying, “When Paul is with you, he is humble and speaks gently to you, but when he is away from you, in the letters he writes to you he threatens to punish you.” Those people claim that I do not have authority over you as an apostle. 2 I strongly plead with you, “ Please do not listen to people who say things like that!” I strongly plead with you not to listen to them, so that when I am there with you I will not need to speak severely to you in the same severe way as I plan to speak to those people who think that I behave like people who are not believers. 3 Remember that although I am human like everyone else in the world, I do not fight against those who oppose me in the way that people who are not believers fight those who oppose them. 4 I will tell you what I mean by that: Just like soldiers use various weapons to fight their enemies [MET], I ◄ fight against/oppose► those who oppose God's message, but I do it in a different way. I do not use human arguments and clever/sweet talk, like unbelievers do. Instead, I fight against my opponents with the powerful means that God has given me. With that power I destroy their arguments against God's message and against me, just like soldiers destroy [MET] the fortresses of their enemies. 5 Specifically, I show that the human arguments that they use to deceive people are completely wrong. When they proudly say things that keep other people from knowing God, I show them that they are completely wrong. I also enable people to change their ways of thinking so that they think about everything as Christ wants them to think. 6 I am also ready to discipline everyone among you who has not obeyed the things that Christ taught. I will do this as soon as you who truly want to obey Christ show me that you are going to obey him completely.
Those who teach what is false must come to realize that I also belong to Christ and that God has given me authority over you. I worry that they will deceive you and that you will stop being faithful to Christ alone.
2 Corinthians 10:7—11:6
7 I want you to understand what is happening among you. There are certain people there who are telling you that they know for sure that they are Christ's representatives and that I am not. Those people should realize that I represent Christ as much as they do. 8 I say that because the authority that the Lord gave me as his apostle is to help you to become mature believers, not to cause you to stop trusting in Christ. So even if I were to boast a little more than I have already done (OR, proudly talk a little more than I have already talked about the authority the Lord gave me as his apostle), no one would be able to make me ashamed by proving that Jesus has not given me that authority. 9 I do not intend to make you afraid of me by the letters that I write to you. 10 I say that because some people are saying, “ When Paul writes letters, he says severe things in order to make you obey him, but when he is here with you, people look at him and say he is weak, and he certainly is not a skillful speaker.” 11 The people who say such things should think carefully about this: The kind of severe person that you think me to be when you read my letters is exactly the kind of person I will be when I come. I will do what I wrote that I would do.
12 Those who oppose me tell others how good they are. If they really were superior to me [IRO], I would not be so bold as to say that I was equal to them, or to compare myself with them. But they are not superior to me. They make up their own standards about what God's servants should be like, and then they look at their own conduct and decide whether or not they meet those standards. By doing that, they show that they are foolish. 13 But as for me, I will not boast about working among people living in areas outside of the areas that God sent/assigned me to work in. But it is right for me to say that I have worked in the areas that God assigned to me. And since those areas include the one where you live, 14 when I talk about working among you, I am not boasting about working in an area where God did not give me the right to work. What those who oppose me say about my not having authority as an apostle to you might be true if I had not already come all the way to your area. But that is not true, because I was the one who first brought the message about Christ to you. I came to Corinth before they did!
15 Also, my opponents boast about work that others have done as if it were their own work. It is improper for them to do that, but I do not do as they do. I confidently expect that as you trust more and more in the gospel that I preach, you will more and more agree that God has given me the right to work as Christ's representative among you. 16 Then I will be able to go to places beyond where you are. I will be able to tell the good message about Christ to people in areas where no one has yet gone to tell that message. And I will be able to talk about the work I myself have done in that area, instead of boasting about work that someone else has already done as if it were my work. 17 I try to do according to what someone/Jeremiah wrote in the Scriptures,
If anyone wants to boast about something, he should boast only about what the Lord God has done.
18 You can realize, then, that it is not those who ◄praise themselves/tell you what great things they have done►, as my opponents do, whom you should accept as apostles. Instead, you should accept as true apostles only those whom the Lord commends.