1
THIS is the way you should consider us: as the servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2
Henceforth it is required of stewards that every one of them must be faithful.
3
But as for me, it is of little importance that I am judged by you or by any one else, because I do not judge myself.
4
For I know nothing of which I am guilty;
yet I may not be right in this, for my judge is the Lord.
5
Therefore do not judge before the time, until the Lord comes and brings to light the hidden things of darkness and reveals the thoughts of the hearts;
then shall every man have praise from God.
6
These things, my brethren, concerning myself and Apollos I have pictured for your sakes, that in our example you may learn not to think beyond that which is written, and let no one exalt himself over his fellow man on account of any man.
7
¶ For who has examined you?
And what do you have which was not given to you?
And if you did receive it, then why do you boast as if you had not received it?
8
For a long time you have been full and enriched, and you have waxed strong without our counsel.
And I would to God you were as kings, so that we also might reign with you.
9
For I think God has placed us, the apostles, last as if we were condemned to death;
for we have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men.
10
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ;
we are weak, but you are strong;
you are praised, but we are despised.
11
Even to this very hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked and mistreated and have no permanent home;
12
And labor, working with our own hands;
being cursed we bless, being persecuted, we endure;
13
Being reviled, we intreat;
we are looked upon as the refuse of the world, and we are the revilement of every man to this day.
14
¶ I do not write these things to make you feel ashamed, but to advise you as beloved children.
15
For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you will have not many fathers;
for in Jesus Christ I have begotten you through the gospel.
16
I beseech you, therefore, to follow me.
17
This is why I have sent Timotheus to you, who is my beloved son and faithful in the Lord, who shall remind you of my manner of life in Christ, just as I teach in all the churches.
18
There are some among you who are puffed up, thinking I am unwilling to come to you.
19
But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord wills, and then I shall find out not the words of these men who exalt themselves, but their power.
20
For the kingdom of God is not in the word, but in power.
21
Now what do you desire?
Shall I come to you with a rod or with love and in the spirit of meekness?