4:1So then, let us consider people as deputies of the Anointed and administrators of the secrets of God.4:2In addition, what is desired in such administrators is that they are found faithful.4:3Now whether you or any human court puts me on trial, I couldn’t care less; I don’t even judge myself.4:4My conscience is clear, but that cannot justify me— only the Master can put me on trial.4:5So judge nothing prematurely; wait until the Master returns, who will illuminate the things hidden in the dark and expose the inner motives of the heart. Then each one will get their praise from God.
4:6Sisters and brothers, I am trying to illustrate these things for you by applying them to myself and Apollos, so that through this example you may learn not to go beyond what it written, and so that no one will elevate one person over another.4:7What makes any of you so different? What do you have that you weren’t given? And if you were given it, why do you brag about it?4:8You are already filled, you are already rich, you reign like kings without us! I wish you really did reign so we could reign with you!
4:9I really think God put us Ambassadors last, as if we were being put on display to the world like condemned prisoners, to both Messengers and humans.4:10We are fools for the Anointed while you are so wise; we are weak while you are strong; we are despised while you are highly esteemed.4:11Even now we hunger and thirst, we are poorly clothed and beaten, we have to keep moving.4:12And we keep laboring, working with our own hands. We respond to verbal abuse with blessing; we tolerate persecution, we respond to cursing with encouragement.4:13In all things we are treated as the dross or scum of the world, right up to this very day.
4:14Now I am not writing all this to shame you, but to warn you as my own dear children.4:15For although you may have ten thousand tutors concerning the Anointed, you nevertheless have few fathers; I fathered you by means of the Gospel of Anointed Jesus.4:16So that is why I plead with you to imitate me.4:17For this reason I sent you Timothy, my dear child who is faithful to the Master. He will remind you of my ways concerning the Anointed, just as I teach everywhere in every Congregation.
4:18Now some are getting cocky, as if I will not come to you.4:19But I will certainly come shortly, if the Master allows it, and then we’ll see what they’re made of!4:20For the kingdom of God is not made of empty words but of power.4:21So what will it be? Should I come with a rod in my hand, or in a loving and gentle spirit?