Paul speaks about his own work
16 I say this again: nobody should think that I am a fool. But even if you do think that, still listen to me. Give me a chance to praise myself a little, as a fool would do. 17 When I say good things about myself like this, it is not how the Lord would talk. No, these are the words of a fool. 18 But many other people are using human ideas to praise themselves. So, I will also do that.
19 You think that you are very wise! So, you are happy to listen to fools. 20 You accept people who make you like their slaves. You accept people who cheat you, or take things from you. You accept people who are proud of themselves. Even if someone hits you in your face, you still accept him. 21 But we were not brave enough to do things like that to you. Should I be ashamed of that?
But other people are brave enough to praise themselves. So I will also be proud of the same things. (Now I am talking like a fool!) 22 Are they proud that they are Hebrew people? So am I. Do they belong to Israel's people? So do I. Are they descendants of Abraham's family? So am I. 23 Are they Christ's servants? I serve him even better than they do! (Now I am speaking like a crazy person.) I work much more than they have worked. I have been in prison more often than they have. People have hit me with whips very many times. I have nearly died many times.
11:22The Jews were also called Hebrews. At this time, most Jews spoke the Aramaic language. If they could also speak the Hebrew language, they were very proud.
24 At five different times, the Jewish leaders punished me with whips. Each time they hit me 39 times. 25 Three times the Romans punished me with sticks. People threw stones at me to kill me once. Three times I have been on ships that broke in the sea. Once I was in the sea for a night and a day. 26 I have travelled on many journeys. I have been in danger from rivers and also from robbers. I have been in danger from my own people and also from Gentiles. I have been in danger in cities and also in the wilderness. I have been in danger on the sea. I have been in danger from false believers. 27 I have worked very hard, and I have been in pain. Many times I have not slept. I have often been hungry and thirsty. Many times I have had no food. I have often been cold and without enough clothes.
28 All these troubles have happened to me. But also, every day I have trouble in my mind. I worry about the believers in all the churches. 29 When one of these believers is weak, then I feel weak too. When something causes one of them to do something wrong, then I am very upset.
30 If I must be proud about myself, I will only be proud of things that show my weakness. 31 I am not telling lies. God, the Father of the Lord Jesus, knows that. He is the one that we should praise for ever. 32 When I was in Damascus, the ruler of that city sent soldiers to catch me. He was under the authority of King Aretas. The soldiers were watching carefully outside the city. 33 But my friends put me in a basket on the end of a rope. They sent me out through a window in the city wall and they let me drop to the ground. That is how I got away from the ruler of the city.