I can boast more: I was caught up to a vision in the highest heaven, hearing unutterable things.
To keep me from getting proud about this, God gave me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan.
I boast of my weaknesses instead, so the power of Christ is shown great.
I'm not inferior to these "super-apostles." I did the signs of an apostle among you.
I'm coming again, not looking for your money, but for your love, as parents come to their children.
I'm not defending myself, but trying to build you up. I'm afraid I'll find confusion and impurity when I come.
If the trouble-makers are still at it when I come, I won't spare them.
Examine yourselves. I write strongly now, hoping I won't have to be severe when I come.
Restore, comfort and agree with one another.
The Triune God's grace, love and fellowship be with you.
The spiritual authority of apostles and elders in the church is more for building up than for tearing down. Feeding and discipling is more the focus than admonishment, correction and discipline, though the latter are not absent, either. We need strong words sometimes, to bring us up short in our sin and selfishness. In all things, seek to build others up toward godliness.