Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 14
Pursue love, yet earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For the one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification, exhortation, and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but rather that you would prophesy; and greater is the one who prophesies than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edification.
6 But now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophecy, or of teaching? 7 Yet even lifeless instruments, whether flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if the trumpet produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So you too, unless you produce intelligible speech by the tongue, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will just be talking to the air. 10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and none is incapable of meaning. 11 So if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be unintelligible to the one who speaks, and the one who speaks will be unintelligible to me. 12 So you too, since you are eager to possess spiritual gifts, strive to excel for the edification of the church.
13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue is to pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive. 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing with the mind also. 16 For otherwise, if you bless God in the spirit only, how will the one who occupies the place of the outsider know to say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 nevertheless, in church I prefer to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.