2 Cor. 12:1-9 is the climax of Paul’s “Foolishness” speech about his visions that began in 10:1. It is part of a larger context dealing with spiritual pride. Here is my note from reading the climax:
Notice that Paul got a thorn in the flesh to prevent him from boasting about his positive special spiritual experience. Those today who think they get these sorts of things must exercise care. First, do not boast. Second, they are setting themselves up for some “thorn in the flesh” to make sure they stay humble. It appears that Paul, while allowing for such experiences, says that a person should keep these things to himself. One should not even mention that it happened. He calls talking about them foolishness. What Paul is talking about in this passage is bragging in public, and splitting the church.
We too, must exercise care and not even speak, much less brag to others, about those times the Lord shows Himself to use in very personal, intimate ways.
I think we should share things like visions with one or maybe two very close, very mature in the Faith and in life, spiritual mentors. The purpose of this is to confirm that the emotionally important event is genuine and not the result of pride or too much spicy food.
Some feel that they are spiritually forced to go on and on about their visions. Paul was not, so I doubt that anyone else will ever be. The disciples felt compelled to share about Jesus’ resurrection, but that was a public and historically verifiable event. Our private moments with the Savior are not public and therefore cannot be historically verified.
Outside Resources on Visions
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, p. 963 Is a part of this book collection.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia rev. ed., vol. 4, p. 993