1I am Paul, and I am begging you. I beg you with the gentleness and the kindness of Christ. ˻Some people say that˼ I am humble when I am with you, and brave when I am away. 2Some people think that we live in a worldly way. I plan to be very bold against those people when I come. I beg you that when I come I will not need to use that same boldness ˻with you˼. 3We do live in the world. But we don’t fight in the same way that the world fights. 4We fight with weapons that are different from the weapons the world uses. Our weapons have power from God. These weapons can destroy ˻the enemy’s˼ strong places. We destroy ˻people’s˼ arguments. 5And we destroy every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. And we capture ˻(catch)˼ every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. 6We are ready to punish any person there who does not obey. But first we want you to obey fully. 7You must look at the facts before you. If a person feels sure that he belongs to Christ, then he must remember that we belong to Christ the same as that person. 8It is true that we boast freely about the authority ˻(power)˼ the Lord gave us. But he gave us this power to strengthen you, not to hurt you. So I will not be ashamed of that boasting we do. 9I don’t want you to think that I am trying to scare you with my letters. 10Some people say, “Paul’s letters are powerful and sound important. But when he is with us, he is weak. And his speaking is nothing.” 11Those people should know this: We are not there with you now, so we say these things in letters. But when we are there with you, we will show the same power that we show in our letters. 12We don’t dare to put ourselves in the same group with those people who think that they are very important. We don’t compare ourselves to them. They use themselves to measure themselves, and they judge themselves by what they themselves are. This shows that they know nothing. 13But we will not boast about things outside the work that was given us to do. We will limit our boasting to the work that God gave us. But this work includes our work with you. 14We are not boasting too much. We would be boasting too much if we had not already come to you. But we have come to you. We came to you with the Good News of Christ. 15We limit our boasting to the work that is ours. We don’t boast in the work other people have done. We hope that your faith will continue to grow. We hope that you will help our work to grow much larger. 16We want to tell the Good News in the areas beyond your city. We don’t want to boast about work that has already been done in another man’s area. 17But, “The person who boasts should boast in the Lord.” 18It is not the person who says that he is good who is accepted. It is the person that the Lord thinks is good who is accepted.