Paul is a true apostle
11 I am speaking like a proud fool, but you have made me do it. You yourselves should be saying good things about me. I may not be important. But I am as good as those very special apostles. 12 When I was there with you, I showed that I was a true apostle. I worked patiently among you. I did many miracles and great things that showed God's power. 13 I worked among you in the same way as I did with the other churches. You were never less important to me than they are. The only difference is that I did not ask you to help me with money. So perhaps I should ask you to forgive me for that!
14 Listen to me! This is the third time that I am ready to visit you. I will not ask you to give anything to me. I do not want any of your things. Instead, I want you yourselves. You are like my children. Children should not have to supply what their parents need. It is parents who should supply what their children need. 15 So I will be happy to give everything that I have to you. I will be happy to give myself too, because I want to help you. Perhaps I love you too much! But that should not mean that you will love me less than you should.
16 I did not give you trouble. You surely know that. But some of you say that I deceived you. You think that I was clever and I got money from you. 17 That is not true! When I sent people to you, they never cheated you on my behalf. 18 I asked Titus to come and visit you, and I sent another Christian friend with him. But Titus certainly did not deceive you to get anything from you. Both he and I have always been completely honest with you. We both think in the same way.
19 What are you thinking when you read all this? Do you think that we want to show you how good we are? No, we are speaking as people who belong to Christ. God knows us. Everything that we do is to help you. We love you and we want to make you stronger as believers.
20 When I come there to visit you, I hope you will be living in a good way. But I am afraid that I will not see what I want to see. Then you will see that I am different from what you want me to be! I am afraid that you may be quarrelling. You may be jealous of each other. You may be very angry with each other. Some of you may just want to please yourselves. You may be insulting one another, or telling lies about one another. You may be proud of how good you are. You may be causing trouble for one another. Yes, I am afraid that all those things may be happening among you.
21 I am afraid that I may be very sad when I come back to you. My God may cause me to feel ashamed about you. Some of you may still be doing bad and disgusting things. You may be having sex with people that you are not married to, or in other wrong ways. Those are the bad things that many of you did at one time. If you have not turned away from those bad things, that will make me weep.