(I have personalized this by adding brackets. I feel it helps me get the true meaning.)
Because we (I) understand our (my) fearful responsibility to the Lord, we (I) work hard to persuade others. God knows we are (I am) sincere, and I hope you know this, too. Are we (Am I) commending ourselves (myself) to you again? No, we are (I am) giving you a reason to be proud of us (me), so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. If it seems we are (I am) crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are (I am) in our (my) right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us (me). Since we (I) believe that Christ died for all, we (I) also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
So we (I) have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we (I) thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we (I) know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us (me) back to himself through Christ. And God has given us (me) this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us (me) this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are (I am) Christ’s ambassador(s); God is making his appeal through us (me). We (I)speak for Christ when we (I) plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we (I) could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Prayer: God of mercy and grace, thank you for surprising us with your goodness. Thank you for the best gift of all, salvation given through your son Jesus Christ. Amen.