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Bear With Me

11 I wish that you would be patient with me in regard to a little foolishness—but you are already being patient with me. You see, I am jealous about you, with a godly jealousy, because I promised to present you as a pure virgin to one husband, Christ. But I am afraid that somehow, just as the serpent deceived Eve with his cunning, so also your minds might be led astray from a sincere[a] and pure devotion to Christ. In fact, if someone comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if you accept a different spirit, which you did not accept before, or a different “gospel,” which you did not welcome before, you put up with it all too well. I do not think that I am in any way inferior to the “super-apostles.” But even if I am an amateur in speech, yet I am not an amateur in knowledge. No, in everything we have clearly demonstrated that to you in every way.

Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself, so that you would be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, by receiving support from them to minister to you! And when I was with you and needed something, I did not burden anyone, because when the brothers came from Macedonia, they supplied what I needed. In every way I kept myself from ever being a burden to you, and I will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting about me will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do. 12 But what I am doing, and will continue to do, is being done in order to cut off the opportunity of those who want an opportunity to boast that they should be considered equal to us.

13 In fact, such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their works.

16 I say again, no one should think that I am a fool. But if you do, then receive me as a fool, so that I may boast a little. 17 What I am saying when I boast so confidently is not the way the Lord speaks; rather, it is a foolish manner of speaking. 18 Since many are boasting as the sinful flesh does, I will also boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools, since you are just so wise! 20 In fact, you put up with it if anyone makes you his slave, robs you, takes advantage of you, looks down on you, or strikes you in the face! 21 I am ashamed to say that we were too weak for that!

However bold anyone might be (I am speaking in a foolish way), I am going to be bold too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s seed? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I am speaking in a crazy way.) I am even more. I’ve done more hard work, been in prisons more often, been whipped far more, and I’ve been close to death many times. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. One time I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day on the open sea. 26 I have often been on journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own people, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger on the sea, in danger among false brothers. 27 I have worked hard and struggled. I’ve spent many sleepless nights. I’ve been hungry and thirsty. I’ve gone without food many times. I’ve been cold and lacked clothing.

28 Besides those external matters, there is the daily pressure on me of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who falls into sin without my being distressed?

30 If it is necessary that I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is eternally blessed, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept the city of Damascus on alert[b] to arrest me, 33 but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands.


  1. 2 Corinthians 11:3 Or single-minded
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:32 Some witnesses to the text add since he wanted.

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