1I urge you by the gentleness and forbearance of Christ -- this is Paul now speaking personal y-I, theone who is so humble when he is facing you but ful of boldness at a distance. 2Yes, my appeal to you is that I should not have to be bold when I am actual y with you, or show thesame self-assurance as I reckon to use when I am chal enging those who reckon that we are guided by humanmotives. 3For although we are human, it is not by human methods that we do battle. 4The weapons with which we do battle are not those of human nature, but they have the power, inGod's cause, to demolish fortresses. It is ideas that we demolish, 5every presumptuous notion that is set up against the knowledge of God, and we bring every thoughtinto captivity and obedience to Christ; 6once you have given your complete obedience, we are prepared to punish any disobedience. 7Look at the evidence of your eyes. Anybody who is convinced that he belongs to Christ should go onto reflect that we belong to Christ no less than he does. 8Maybe I have taken rather too much pride in our authority, but the Lord gave us that for building youup, not for knocking you down, and I am not going to be shamed 9into letting you think that I can put fear into you only by letter. 10Someone said, 'His letters are weighty enough, and ful of strength, but when you see him in person,he makes no impression and his powers of speaking are negligible.' 11I should like that sort of person to take note that our deeds when we are present wil show the samequalities as our letters when we were at a distance. 12We are not venturing to rank ourselves, or even to compare ourselves with certain people whoprovide their own commendations. By measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves tothemselves, they only show their fol y. 13By contrast we do not intend to boast beyond measure, but wil measure ourselves by the standardwhich God laid down for us, namely that of having come al the way to you. 14We are not overreaching ourselves as we would be if we had not come all the way to you; in fact wewere the first to come as far as you with the good news of Christ. 15So we are not boasting beyond measure, about other men's work; in fact, we hope, as your faithincreases, to grow greater and greater by this standard of ours, 16by preaching the gospel to regions beyond you, rather than boasting about work already done insomeone else's province. 17Let anyone who wants to boast, boast of the Lord. 18For it is not through self-commendation that recognition is won, but through commendation.
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