“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit”
(1 Corinthians 14:2).
One major misconception people have about speaking in tongues is that it is for evangelism. Such people believe that if they find themselves in a strange country where they do not understand the language, the Holy Spirit would empower them to speak the language and thus evangelize to those around them. This is not true.
Today’s text says that the person who speaks in tongues is not speaking to people-whether for evangelism or otherwise-but to God. Other verses support this truth.
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church (1 Corinthians 14:4). This verse clearly states that speaking in tongues is for your personal edification. In extremely rare cases will people find themselves in a strange land where they do not know the language. But speaking in tongues is presented here as something that should be done often.
“So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air”(1 Cor 14:9). This verse makes it clear that tongues are not easily understood by others, so how can it be for evangelism? 1 Cor 14:16 also reiterates this.
Don’t cheat yourself, the gift of tongues is available to every believer so that you can ‘build yourself upon your most holy faith’ (Jude 20). Take advantage of it today.