Therefore, those who speak in a tongue should pray to be able to interpret. If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind isn’t productive. What should I do? I’ll pray in the Spirit, but I’ll pray with my mind too; I’ll sing a psalm in the Spirit, but I’ll sing the psalm with my mind too. After all, if you praise God in the Spirit, how will the people who aren’t trained in that language say “Amen!” to your thanksgiving, when they don’t know what you are saying? You may offer a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I’d rather speak five words in my right mind than speak thousands of words in a tongue so that I can teach others. Brothers and sisters, don’t be like children in the way you think. Well, be babies when it comes to evil, but be adults in your thinking. In the Law it is written: I will speak to this people with foreign languages and foreigners’ lips, but they will not even listen to me this way, says the Lord. So then, tongues are a sign for those who don’t believe, not for those who believe. But prophecy is a sign for believers, not for those who don’t believe. So suppose that the whole church is meeting and everyone is speaking in tongues. If people come in who are outsiders or unbelievers, won’t they say that you are out of your minds? But if everyone is prophesying when an unbeliever or outsider comes in, they are tested by all and called to account by all. The secrets of their hearts are brought to light. When that happens, they will fall on their faces and worship God, proclaiming out loud that truly God is among you! (1 Corinthians 14:13-25, CEB)
Speaking in tongues is something that is interesting to most people in the church. We know it happens, but we arent’ sure what it means. Sometimes we think it means that people spoke and others heard it in their own language. And sometimes, like this passage, we get speaking in tongues is nonsense talk to those who do not know how to interpret. And this passage says that even I may not know what the Spirit is saying through me in my mind. And Paul tells the Corinthians that it is better to say 5 words that are understood than the most eloquent spirit-filled prayer that no one understands but God.
You see God knows all the thoughts of our hearts and minds and doesn’t need us to vocalize in any matter, so when we speak that is for those who hear, and if they do not understand then it doesn’t really do anyone any good.
We need to speak so others hear the love of God. Not in tongues, not in prophecy, but love.
Love out Loud.
Loving People. Loving God.