1 Corinthians 14:1-17 New Life Version (NLV)
Speaking in Special Sounds Is Not the Greatest Gift
14 You should want to have this love. You should want the gifts of the Holy Spirit and most of all to be able to speak God’s Word. 2 The man who speaks in special sounds speaks to God. He is not speaking to men. No one understands. He is speaking secret things through the power of the Holy Spirit. 3 The man who speaks God’s Word speaks to men. It helps them to learn and understand. It gives them comfort. 4 The man who speaks in special sounds receives strength. The man who speaks God’s Word gives strength to the church. 5 I wish all of you spoke in special sounds. But more than that, I wish all of you spoke God’s Word. The one who speaks God’s Word has a more important gift than the one who speaks in special sounds. But if he can tell what he is speaking, the church will be helped. 6 Christian brothers, if I come to you speaking in special sounds, what good is it to you? But if I tell you something God has shown me or something I have learned or what God’s Word says will happen in the future or teach you God’s Word, it will be for your good.
7 There are things on which people play music. If strange sounds are made on these, how will others know which one is played? 8 If a horn does not make a good sound, how will men know they are to get ready to fight? 9 It is the same if you speak to a person in special sounds. How will he know what you say? Your sounds will be lost in the air. 10 There are many languages in the world. All of them have meaning to the people who understand them. 11 But if I do not understand the language someone uses to speak to me, the man who speaks is a stranger to me. I am a stranger to him. 12 Since you want gifts from the Holy Spirit, ask for those that will build up the whole church. 13 So the man who speaks in special sounds should pray for the gift to be able to tell what they mean.
14 If I pray in special sounds, my spirit is doing the praying. My mind does not understand. 15 What should I do? I will pray with my spirit and I will pray with my mind also. I will sing with my spirit and I will sing with my mind also. 16 If you honor and give thanks to God with your spirit in sounds nobody understands, how can others honor and give thanks also if they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are honoring and giving thanks to God, but it is not helping other people.