4 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and nstewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 oFor I am not aware of anything against myself, pbut I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore qdo not pronounce judgment before the time, rbefore the Lord comes, swho will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. tThen each one will receive his commendation from God.
6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers,1 that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may ube puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? vWhat do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! 9 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, wlike men sentenced to death, because we xhave become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 yWe are fools for Christ's sake, but zyou are wise in Christ. aWe are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour bwe hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and cbuffeted and dhomeless, 12 and we elabor, working with our own hands. fWhen reviled, we bless; gwhen persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. hWe have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, ithe refuse of all things.
14 I do not write these things jto make you ashamed, but to admonish you kas my beloved children. 15 For lthough you have countless2 guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For mI became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, nbe imitators of me. 17 That is why oI sent3 you Timothy, pmy beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ,4 qas I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are rarrogant, sas though I were not coming to you. 19 But tI will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 20 For uthe kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? vShall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?