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2 Corinthians 12
1 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to gain, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.
Paul’s Thorn and God’s Grace
5 I will boast about such a man, but I will not boast about myself, except in my weaknesses. 6 Even if I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations.
So to keep me from becoming conceited, a I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9 But He said to me,
Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians
11 I have become a fool, but you drove me to it. In fact, you should have commended me, since I am in no way inferior to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12 The true marks of an apostle—signs, wonders, and miracles—were performed among you with great perseverance. 13 In what way were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was not a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
14 See, I am ready to come to you a third time, and I will not be a burden, because I am not seeking your possessions, but you. For children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 And for the sake of your souls, I will most gladly spend my money and myself. If I love you more, will you love me less?
16 Be that as it may, I was not a burden to you; but crafty as I am, I caught you by trickery. 17 Did I exploit you by anyone I sent you? 18 I urged Titus to visit you, and I sent our brother with him. Did Titus exploit you in any way? Did we not walk in the same Spirit and follow in the same footsteps? b
19 Have you been thinking all along that we were making a defense to you? We speak before God in Christ, and all of this, beloved, is to build you up. 20 For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I wish, and you may not find me as you wish. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, rage, rivalry, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. 21 I am afraid that when I come again, my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of their acts of impurity, sexual immorality, and debauchery.
7 a Some translators end the previous paragraph after verse 6, and begin verse 7 with So to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations,
18 b Literally Did we not walk in the same Spirit? Not in the same footsteps?