Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries.
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they should be found trustworthy.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.
I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
Therefore do not pronounce judgement before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God.
I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, ‘Nothing beyond what is written’, so that none of you will be puffed up in favour of one against another.
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?
Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Quite apart from us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we might be kings with you!
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals.
We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honour, but we in disrepute.
To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless,
and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all things, to this very day.
But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have.
For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord.
With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming of the good news;
and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill.
We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering,
for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others.
And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you.