2 Corinthians 11New Life Version (NLV)
Paul—the True Missionary
11 I wish you would listen to a little foolish talk from me. Now listen. 2 I am jealous for you with a God-like jealousy. I have given you, as a woman who has never had a man, to one Husband, Who is Christ. 3 Eve was fooled by the snake in the garden of Eden. In the same way, I am afraid that you will be fooled and led away from your pure love for Christ. 4 You listen when someone comes and preaches a different Jesus than the One we preached. You believe what you hear about a different spirit and different good news than that which we preached.
5 I do not think I am less than those special missionaries who are coming to you. 6 Even if it is hard for me to speak, I know what I am talking about. You know this by now. 7 Did I do wrong? I did not ask you for anything when I preached the Good News to you. I made myself poor so you would be made rich. 8 I did take money from other churches. I used it while I worked with you so you would not have to pay me. 9 Some of the time I had no money when I was with you. But I did not ask you for money. The Christians from the country of Macedonia brought me what I needed. I did not ask you and I will not ask you for anything. 10 As sure as the truth of Christ is in me, I will not stop telling those in the country of Greece that I am proud of this. 11 Does it mean I do not love you? God knows I do.
12 What I am doing now, I will keep on doing. I will do it to stop those who say they work as we do. 13 Those men are false missionaries. They lie about their work. But they make themselves look like true missionaries of Christ. 14 It is no surprise! The devil makes himself look like an angel of light. 15 And so it is no surprise if his servants also make themselves look like preachers of the Good News. They and their work will come to the same end.
What Paul Suffered as a Missionary
16 Let me say it again. Do not think of me as a fool. But if you do, then let this foolish man speak a little about himself. 17 The Lord has not told me to talk about myself. I am foolish when I do talk about myself like this. 18 Since the other men tell you all about themselves, I will talk about myself also. 19 You are so wise! You put up with fools! 20 You listen to anyone who tells you what to do or makes money off of you or sets a trap for you. You will listen to anyone who makes himself bigger than you or hits you in the face. 21 I am ashamed to say that I am weak! But I do not do as they do. Whatever they say about themselves, I can say about myself also. (I know what I am saying sounds foolish.)
22 Are they Jews? So am I. Are they from the family of Israel? So am I. Are they from the family of Abraham? So am I. 23 Do they work for Christ? I have worked for Him much more than they have. (I speak as if I am crazy.) I have done much more work. I have been in prison more times. I cannot remember how many times I have been whipped. Many times I have been in danger of death. 24 Five different times the Jews whipped me across my back thirty-nine times. 25 Three times they beat me with sticks. One time they threw stones at me. Three times I was on ships that were wrecked. I spent a day and a night in the water. 26 I have made many hard trips. I have been in danger from high water on rivers. I have been in danger from robbers. I have been in danger from the Jews. I have been in danger from people who do not know God. I have been in danger in cities and in the desert. I have been in danger on the sea. I have been in danger among people who say they belong to Christ but do not. 27 I have worked hard and have been tired and have had pain. I have gone many times without sleep. I have been hungry and thirsty. I have gone without food and clothes. I have been out in the cold. 28 More than all these things that have happened to my body, the care of all the churches is heavy on me. 29 When someone is weak, I feel weak also. When someone is led into sin, I have a strong desire to help him. 30 If I must talk about myself, I will do it about the things that show how weak I am. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be honored and thanked forever. He knows I am telling the truth. 32 In the city of Damascus the leader of the people under King Aretas put soldiers at the gates to take me. 33 But I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and I got away.