“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.” 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (KJV)
Someone once said, “It is better to be thought a fool; than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
In Paul’s writing above he speaks of the spiritual gift of “Tongues” and “Prophecy”. One of the things I have noticed is that many of those who claim the “Gift of tongues” want to make it a requirement for the “Baptism of the Spirit”. Now I am not going to get into that; just saying. Those may have a bigger problem controlling the tongue, speaking for the glory of God, rather than cursing.
At any rate Paul says Prophesy or Preaching the Word of God for building up, calling for a decision, and comfort is something that will “Edify” the Church; while “Tongues” edifies self. That is plenty clear to me.
As Christians our speech – the use of our tongues – is to glorify God, build up and encourage, strengthen – by calling for commitment, decision, and trust in the Lord – and comfort the Body of Christ. Also see James 3:1-12.
-Tim A. Blankenship