14Here I am, ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, because I do not want what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children.15I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?16Let it be assumed that I did not burden you. Nevertheless (you say) since I was crafty, I took you in by deceit.17Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you?18I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves with the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?19Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? We are speaking in Christ before God. Everything we do, beloved, is for the sake of building you up.20For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; I fear that there may perhaps be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.21I fear that when I come again, my God may humble me before you, and that I may have to mourn over many who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced.Chapter 13Further Warning
1This is the third time I am coming to you. “Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses.”2I warned those who sinned previously and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again, I will not be lenient—3since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you.4For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.5Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test!6I hope you will find out that we have not failed.7But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.9For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect.10So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.