12
It seems that I must go on boasting about myself. Although I do not think that my telling you about this will help you to accept me as Christ's representative to you, I will say this anyway. I will tell you about visions that the Lord gave a certain man and about things that he supernaturally revealed to that man. I will tell you this because some of the people among you boast that it was in visions that they received the things that they teach. The man that I will tell you about is one who believes in Christ. Fourteen years ago he was taken { Christ took him} up into the third heaven, the highest heaven, the place where God is. I do not know whether he went there in his physical body or whether he was outside of his body at that time and only his spirit went. Only God really knows. 3-4 But he was suddenly taken { Christ suddenly took him} up to a place called Paradise, that wonderful place where God lives. I repeat that I do not know whether his body went there or only his spirit. Only God knows that. While he was there, God told him some things that he does not allow human beings to tell others about. I will proudly talk about that man. However, I will not be boasting as I say that I am the one who saw and heard those wonderful things. I will talk only about the things that cause others to think of me as a weak human being like everyone else. But even if I should choose to boast to you about such wonderful things that happened to me, I would not be speaking like a fool, because I would be telling you the truth. But I will not talk proudly about such things, because I do not want any of you to think highly of me because of the things that have happened to me. Instead, I want you to decide what kind of person I am by the way you see me acting and by what you hear me teach. In order that I might not become proud because of those many wonderful things that Christ revealed to me, God permitted Satan to send a messenger to humble me (OR, to make me sick). What that messenger did to me was painful, like [MET] a thorn pricking my body. Three times I prayed to the Lord about it, begging him to take this away from me. But he said to me, “ No, I will not take this away from you. Instead, I will kindly help you, and that will be all that you need, because it is when you are weak that I can best work powerfully to help you.” So, because of what the Lord said to me, I will very gladly boast about the things that make me seem weak, so that people may realize that it is Christ who gives me power to serve him. 10 For that reason, whenever I am weak, or when people insult me, or when I have to endure hardships, or when I am persecuted { people cause me to suffer}, or when I am in situations that distress me, I am content because I am serving Christ. I can say that because at any time when I myself am weak, that is the very time when Christ powerfully helps me.
When I was with you, I did things that showed you that I am truly Christ's representative. But I still will not take pay from you when I come to visit you again. And those people are wrong who say that I tricked you by sending Titus to get money for myself from you.
2 Corinthians 12:11-18
11 It has been foolish for me to talk about myself like this, but it is you who forced me to do it. Truly if the Lord would not help me, I would be worthless, as my opponents say that I am. But none of the men whom you wrongfully think [IRO] are great apostles are greater in any way than I am. So it would have been right/proper for you to say good things about me. 12  You should have done that, because when I was with you I repeatedly did the things that showed you that I am truly an apostle, such as performing many [DOU] miracles. 13 And I have certainly treated you as well as I treated the other congregations that I helped to start. Or do you think that by not asking you to pay me for my work, I was not treating you as well as I treated the other congregations? ◄It is foolish for you to think that [IRO] it was wrong for me not to ask for pay from you for my work, and therefore I should ask you to forgive me for that!/Do you think that it was wrong for me not to ask for pay from you for my work, and therefore I should ask you to forgive me for that?► [RHQ]
14 Now listen to me! It is time for me to come to you for a third visit. When I come, I still will not insist that you pay me for my work, because I do not want any of your money [EUP]! What I want is for you [MTY] to love and appreciate me. It is not normally the duty of children to save money to provide for the needs of their parents. Instead, it is the duty of parents to provide for their children [MET]. In the same way, it is not your duty to provide for me. Instead, it is my duty to provide spiritual help for you because you are my spiritual children. 15 So, for my part, as a good parent would do, I will be very happy to use everything that I have, and do everything that I possibly can, in order to help you. And because I love you very much, ◄I will be very disappointed if you do not love me a little bit, too./will you not love me a little bit, too?► [RHQ]
16  You all know that I did not depend on you to provide for my needs. However, there are some who accuse me, saying that [IRO] I was very clever and got money from you by tricking you. 17 But did I ever do that? No! I never [RHQ] asked any of the men whom I sent to you to get money from you and bring it to me 18 Titus went and visited you because I urged him to do so. I also sent the other believer, whom you know, to go with Titus. You know that Titus did not [RHQ] trick you in order to get money from you. And you certainly know that he and I have always [RHQ] acted in exactly the same honest way towards you.
I am worried that when I visit you I will find that many of you are still sinning. I pray that God will help you turn from your sinful behavior, so that I will not have to discipline you when I come.
2 Corinthians 12:19—13:10
19 While you have been reading this letter, if you have been thinking that I have just been saying these things to defend myself against those who accuse me, you are wrong. I have been saying these things honestly, knowing that God is listening to me. I also speak as one who has a close relationship with Christ. Everything that I do and everything that I say is to help you whom I love ◄to grow spiritually/ to become spiritually mature►. 20  I have written this way to you because I worry that when I come to visit you, I will see that some of you are not conducting your lives the way that I want you to. If that is so, when I get there you will see that I will have to act in a very severe way toward you, and I am sure that you do not want that. Specifically, I am afraid that some of you may be quarreling, or that you are being jealous of each other, or that you quickly get very angry with them, or that you are acting selfishly, or that some of you are saying bad things about others, or that you are ◄spreading false rumors/saying false things► about each other, or that you are acting proudly, or that you are doing things in a disorderly manner. 21  Ifeel anxious/am concernedabout you. I worry that when I visit you again, God, the one whom I serve, will make me feel ashamed of you when I see that you still are not conducting your lives as believers should. Then I will feel very sad about some of you who were sinning previously and have not stopped your sinful behavior. Some of you may still have impure thoughts. Some of you may be having sexual intercourse with those to whom you are not married. And some of you may be doing other shameful things.