2 Corinthians 12Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Visions from the Lord
12 I have to brag. There is nothing to be gained by it, but I must brag about the visions and other things that the Lord has shown me. 2 I know about one of Christ’s followers who was taken up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don’t know if the man was still in his body when it happened, but God certainly knows.
3 As I said, only God really knows if this man was in his body at the time. 4 But he was taken up into paradise,[a] where he heard things that are too wonderful to tell. 5 I will brag about that man, but not about myself, except to say how weak I am.
6 Yet even if I did brag, I would not be foolish. I would simply be speaking the truth. But I will try not to say too much. That way, none of you will think more highly of me than you should because of what you have seen me do and say. 7 Of course, I am now referring to the wonderful things I saw. One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud.[b]
8 Three times I begged the Lord to make this suffering go away. 9 But he replied, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. 10 Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.
Paul’s Concern for the Lord’s Followers at Corinth
11 I have been making a fool of myself. But you forced me to do it, when you should have been speaking up for me. I may be nothing at all, but I am as good as those super apostles. 12 When I was with you, I was patient and worked all the powerful miracles and signs and wonders of a true apostle. 13 You missed out on only one blessing that the other churches received. That is, you didn’t have to support me. Forgive me for doing you wrong.
14 I am planning to visit you for the third time. But I still won’t make a burden of myself. What I really want is you, and not what you have. Children are not supposed to save up for their parents, but parents are supposed to take care of their children. 15 So I will gladly give all that I have and all that I am. Will you love me less for loving you too much? 16 You agree that I wasn’t a burden to you. Maybe that’s because I was trying to catch you off guard and trick you. 17 Were you cheated by any of those I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to visit you, and I sent another follower with him. But Titus didn’t cheat you, and we felt and behaved the same way he did.
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? Actually, we have been speaking to God as followers of Christ. But, my friends, we did it all for your good.
20 I am afraid that when I come, we won’t be pleased with each other. I fear that some of you may be arguing or jealous or angry or selfish or gossiping or insulting each other. I even fear that you may be proud and acting like a mob. 21 I am afraid God will make me ashamed when I visit you again. I will feel like crying because many of you have never given up your old sins. You are still doing things that are immoral, indecent, and shameful.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.