1 If it is necessary (though certainly not expedient) to glory, then I will next tell of visions and revelations from the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ, who, more than fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know: God knows), was enraptured to the third heaven.
3 And I know a certain man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I do not know: God knows),
4 who was enraptured into Paradise. And he heard words of mystery, which it is not permitted for man to speak.
5 On behalf of someone like this, I will glory. But on behalf of myself, I will not glory about anything, except my infirmities.
6 For even though I am willing to glory, I will not be foolish. But I will speak the truth. Yet I will do so sparingly, lest anyone may consider me to be anything more than what he sees in me, or anything more than what he hears from me.
7 And lest the greatness of the revelations should extol me, there was given to me a prodding in my flesh: an angel of Satan, who struck me repeatedly.
8 Because of this, three times I petitioned the Lord that it might be taken away from me.
9 And he said to me: "My grace is sufficient for you. For virtue is perfected in weakness." And so, willingly shall I glory in my weaknesses, so that the virtue of Christ may live within me.
10 Because of this, I am pleased in my infirmity: in reproaches, in difficulties, in persecutions, in distresses, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am powerful.
11 I have become foolish; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you. For I have been nothing less than those who claim to be above the measure of Apostles, even though I am nothing.
12 And the seal of my Apostleship has been set over you, with all patience, with signs and wonders and miracles.
13 For what is there that you have had which is less than the other churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this injury.
14 Behold, this is the third time I have prepared to come to you, and yet I will not be a burden to you. For I am seeking not the things that are yours, but you yourselves. And neither should the children store up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And so, very willingly, I will spend and exhaust myself for the sake of your souls, loving you more, while being loved less.
16 And so be it. I have not burdened you, but instead, being astute, I obtained you by guile.
17 And yet, did I defraud you by means of any of those whom I sent to you?
18 I asked for Titus, and I sent a brother with him. Did Titus defraud you? Did we not walk with the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?
19 Have you ever thought that we should explain ourselves to you? We speak in the sight of God, in Christ. But all things, most beloved, are for your edification.
20 Yet I fear, lest perhaps, when I have arrived, I might not find you such as I would want, and I might be found by you, such as you would not want. For perhaps there may be among you: contention, envy, animosity, dissension, detraction, whispering, self-exaltation, and rebellion.
21 If so, then, when I have arrived, God may again humble me among you. And so, I mourn for the many who sinned beforehand, and did not repent, over the lust and fornication and homosexuality, which they have committed.
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