No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do,
receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little.
What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.
Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.
For you, being so
wise, tolerate the foolish gladly.
For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, if anyone devours you, if anyone takes advantage of
you, if anyone exalts himself, if anyone hits you in the face.
shame I must
say that we have been weak by comparison.
But in whatever respect anyone else
is bold—I am speaking in foolishness—I too am bold.
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
Are they servants of Christ?—I am speaking as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of
Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent adrift
I have been
on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my
countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers;
I have been
in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
Apart from such
external things, there is the daily pressure on me of
concern for all the churches.
Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?