1Love is the thing you should try for. And you should truly want to have the spiritual gifts. And the gift you should want most is to be able to prophesy. 2I will explain why: A person ˻that has the gift of˼ speaking in a ˻different˼ language is not speaking to people. He is speaking to God. No one understands that person—he is speaking secret things through the Spirit. 3But a person that prophesies is speaking to people. He gives people strength, encouragement, and comfort. 4The person that speaks in a ˻different˼ language is helping only himself. But the person that prophesies is helping the whole church. 5I would like all of you ˻to have the gift of˼ speaking in ˻different˼ languages. But more, I want you to prophesy. The person that prophesies is greater than the person that can only speak in ˻different˼ languages. But the person speaking in ˻different˼ languages is the same as the person that prophesies if he can also interpret those languages. Then the church can be helped ˻by what he says˼. 6Brothers and sisters, will it help you if I come to you speaking in ˻different˼ languages? No! It will help you only if I bring you a new truth or some knowledge, or some prophecy, or some teaching. 7It is the same as with non-living things that make sounds—like a flute or a harp. If the different musical notes are not made clear, then you can’t understand what song is being played. Each note must be played clearly for you to be able to understand the tune. 8And ˻in a war˼, if the trumpet does not sound clearly, then the soldiers will not know it is time to prepare for fighting. 9It is the same with you. The words you speak with your tongue must be clear. If you don’t speak clearly, then no person can understand what you are saying. You will be talking to the air! 10It is true that there are many different languages in the world. And they all have meaning. 11So if I don’t understand the meaning of what a person says to me, then I think that he talks strange, and he thinks that I talk strange. 12It is the same with you. You want spiritual gifts very much. So try most to have those things that help the church grow stronger. 13So the person that has the gift of speaking in a ˻different˼ language should pray that he can also interpret the things he says. 14If I pray in a ˻different˼ language, then my spirit is praying, but my mind does nothing. 15So what should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. 16You might be praising God with your spirit. But a person there without understanding cannot say “Amen” to your prayer of thanks. Why? Because he does not know what you are saying. 17You may be thanking God in a good way, but the other person is not helped. 18I thank God that my gift of speaking in ˻different kinds of˼ languages is greater than any of yours. 19But in the church meetings I would rather speak five words that I understand than thousands of words in a ˻different˼ language. I would rather speak with my understanding, so that I can teach other people. 20Brothers and sisters, don’t think like children. In evil things be like babies. But in your thinking you should be like full-grown people. 21Like the Scriptures say, “Using people that speak different kinds of languages and using the lips of foreigners, I will speak to these people; but even then these people will not obey me.” That is what the Lord says. 22So, ˻here, different˼ languages are a proof for people that don’t believe, not for people that believe. And prophecy is for people that believe, not for people that don’t believe. 23Suppose the whole church meets together and you all speak in ˻different˼ languages. If some people come in that are without understanding or don’t believe, then those people will say you are crazy. 24But suppose you are all prophesying and a person comes in that does not believe or a person without understanding comes in. If you are all prophesying, then that person’s sin will be shown to him, and he will be judged by all the things you say. 25The secret things in that person’s heart will be made known. So that person will bow down and worship God. He will say, “Truly, God is with you.” 26So, brothers and sisters, what should you do? When you meet together, one person has a song, another person has a teaching, another person has a new truth from God, another person speaks in a ˻different˼ language, and another person interprets that language. The purpose of all these things should be to help ˻the church˼ grow strong. 27When you meet together, if any person speaks to the group in a ˻different˼ language, then it should be only two or not more than three people that do this. And they should speak one after the other. And another person should interpret ˻what they say˼. 28But if there is no interpreter, then any person that speaks in a ˻different˼ language should be quiet in the church meeting. That person should speak only to himself and to God. 29And only two or three prophets should speak. The others should judge what they say. 30And if a message from God comes to another person that is sitting, then the first speaker should be quiet. 31You can all prophesy one after the other. In that way all the people can be taught and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are under the control of the prophets themselves. 33God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace. 34Women should keep quiet in these church meetings. This is the same as in all the churches of God’s people. Women are not allowed to speak. They must be under authority, like the law ˻of Moses˼ says. 35If there is something the women want to know, then they should ask their own husbands at home. It is shameful for a woman to speak in the church meeting. 36Did God’s teaching come from you? No! Or are you the only ones that have received that teaching? No! 37If any person thinks that he is a prophet or that he has a spiritual gift, then that person should understand that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38If that person does not know this, then he is not known ˻by God˼. 39So my brothers and sisters, you should truly want to prophesy. And don’t stop people from ˻using the gift of˼ speaking in ˻different˼ languages. 40But everything should be done in a way that is right and orderly.
1 Corinthians 14