1 Corinthians 14:7-9
1Co 14:7 Even soulless objects that are used to give off a sound — whether a wind or a stringed instrument — if it does not play the tunes clearly, how will anyone recognise what is blown or strummed?
1Co 14:8 Because, if a bugle gives off an unclear sound, who will get ready for battle?
1Co 14:9 In the same way, if you use your tongue for unclear speech, how will what is spoken be known? Because you will just be speaking into the air.
speaking into the air
In yesterday’s post, I argued against the popular idea that the gift of “tongues” is some kind of supernatural utterance that God zaps the giver with, resulting in a noise that comes out of his or her mouth which cannot be understood either by the giver of anyone else. I used to believe and teach that idea, and it still has a lot of support in many churches. But today’s text directly refutes that kind of teaching. Paul called that kind of “ministry” speaking into the air, and he strongly discouraged it.
The real spiritual gift he describes is the ability to preach the gospel in a language different than the one you were born into. His advice to those with this ministry is that they not try to flaunt it in their congregations, because that would just be producing indistinct noise.
LORD, may we be considerate in our ministries, not doing them just for show for those would not benefit from them.