2 Corinthians 12:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV: That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV: For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, KJV: Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, NASB: Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, NLT: That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, CSB: So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

What does 2 Corinthians 12:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Earlier, Paul warned readers he was going to start sarcastically bragging about his qualifications as an apostle. This was meant to satirize his self-promoting opponents in Corinth. In reality, Paul mostly described his weaknesses and suffering. The previous verse made his motivations clear. God said His "power is made perfect in your weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Greek word being used there teleitai, refers to completion or accomplishment. Paul wanted to show how much weaker he was, as a person, in comparison to his opponents. Then the Corinthians would know just how powerful Christ was, as they looked to and through Paul's life.

In that way, Paul has turned boasting upside down. It's not that he doesn't care if others think he is weak. It's that he truly is weak and he wants everyone to know it. For the sake of Christ, he is content, even with all sorts of trials and suffering. He has made peace with the fact that such weakness in his life is exactly what is needed. It is what pulls Paul's earthly self aside, leaving room for Christ's strength to accomplish what God has called Paul to do.

Believers must trust God the most in areas of their lives where they are weakest, or where they suffer the most. God's power is never more convincing than when a human perspective produces no answer about how to get through what confronts us. In that same seemingly-backwards way, Christians who are trusting God are most powerful when they have the least self-reliance. God's power is far and away more capable than our own.