GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Since we are God's coworkers, we urge you not to let God's kindness be wasted on you.
2God says, "At the right time I heard you. On the day of salvation I helped you." Listen, now is God's acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!
3We don't give people any opportunity to find fault with how we serve. 4Instead, our lives demonstrate that we are God's servants. We have endured many things: suffering, distress, anxiety, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, and lack of food. 6[People can see] our purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit's presence [in our lives], our sincere love, 7truthfulness, and the presence of God's power. We demonstrate that we are God's servants 8as we are praised and dishonored, as we are slandered and honored, and as we use what is right to attack what is wrong and to defend the truth. We are treated as dishonest although we are honest, 9as unknown although we are well-known, as dying although, as you see, we go on living. We are punished, but we are not killed. 10People think we are sad although we're always glad, that we're beggars although we make many people spiritually rich, that we have nothing although we possess everything.
11We have been very open in speaking to you Corinthians. We have a place for you in our hearts. 12We haven't cut you off. Your own emotions have cut you off [from us]. 13I'm talking to you as I would talk to children. Treat us the same way we've treated you. Make a place for us in your hearts too.
14Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness? 15Can Christ agree with the devil? Can a believer share life with an unbeliever?
16Can God's temple contain false gods? Clearly, we are the temple of the living God. As God said, "I will live and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
17The Lord says, "Get away from unbelievers. Separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with anything unclean. Then I will welcome you."
18The Lord Almighty says, "I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters."