Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or like some, do we need letters of recommendation to you or from you?
But in everything, as God's ministers, we commend ourselves: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardship, by pressures,
For if I boast some more about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I am not ashamed.
For we don't dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they lack understanding.
For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.
I have become a fool; you forced it on me. I ought to have been recommended by you, since I am in no way inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth-- a stranger, and not your own lips.
as you have partially understood us-- that we are your reason for pride, as you are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.
But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to cut off the opportunity of those who want an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in what they are boasting about.
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
And no wonder! For Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light.
So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works.
I repeat: no one should consider me a fool. But if [you do], at least accept me as a fool, so I too may boast a little.
It is necessary to boast; it is not helpful, but I will move on to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don't know; God knows.
I know that this man-- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows--
was caught up into paradise. He heard inexpressible words, which a man is not allowed to speak.
I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses.
For if I want to boast, I will not be a fool, because I will be telling the truth. But I will spare you, so that no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me,
especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself.
Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me.
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me.
Those who want to make a good showing in the flesh are the ones who would compel you to be circumcised-- but only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
For even the circumcised don't keep the law themselves; however, they want you to be circumcised in order to boast about your flesh.
But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.