Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim His truth. When you proclaim His truth in everyday speech, you’re letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience His presence with you. Proclaim God’s truth to the church and to others in a language they understand; a language that brings them all into growth and strength. I want all of you to develop intimacies with God in prayer, but please don’t stop with that. Go on and proclaim His clear truth to others. It’s more important that everyone have access to the knowledge and love of God than it is to edify yourself.
Think about it: If I come to you and all I do is pray privately to God in a way only I understand, what are you going to get out of it? If I don’t address you plainly with some insight or truth or proclamation or teaching, what help am I to you? So if you speak in a way no one can understand, what’s the point of opening your mouth? If I don’t understand what you are saying, it’s not going to do me much good. It’s no different with you. Since you’re so eager to participate in what God is doing, why don’t you concentrate on doing what helps everyone?
Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into God’s intimacy. Certainly, you should be spiritually free and expressive as you pray and teach, but you should also be thoughtful and mindful as you pray and teach. If you pray or teach using your private language, which no one else understands, how can some outsider who has just shown up benefit. Your words might be beautiful, but you have very effectively cut that person out of it. To what glory for God is that?
Seek to practice what will benefit the most people. Communicate clearly. See things through the eyes of the outsider. Make sure everything is done in an appropriate manner. Do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 14:1-17 Paraphrased
Bill Davis