When our reputations are attacked, we remain courteous. Right now we have become garbage in the eyes of the world and trash in the sight of all people.
14I'm not writing this to make you feel ashamed but to instruct you as my dear children. 15You may have countless Christian guardians, but you don't have many [spiritual] fathers. I became your father in the Christian life by telling you the Good News about Christ Jesus. 16So I encourage you to imitate me. 17That's why I've sent Timothy to you to help you remember my Christian way of life as I teach it everywhere in every church. Timothy is my dear child, and he faithfully does the Lord's work. 18Some of you have become arrogant because you think I won't pay you a visit. 19If it's the Lord's will, I'll visit you soon. Then I'll know what these arrogant people are saying and what power they have. 20God's kingdom is not just talk, it is power. 21When I come to visit you, would you prefer that I punish you or show you love and a gentle spirit?