The Bible tells us that speaking in tongues without love is like the noise of an empty vessel. When empty vessels produce sound, it has no meaning.
Apostle Paul would not have brought up this matter unless it was relevant. Speaking in tongues without love did not only exist during biblical times but even today.
If you are not careful, you can fall into this deadly trap of speaking in tongues without love.
Before we go any further, let us understand what exactly is speaking in tongues without love.
What is Speaking in Tongues without Love?
Speaking in tongues without love is when a person speaks in tongues but the tongues do not help Him become more like Christ.
We all know that the greatest commandment is for us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, our souls, our strength and our neighbor as ourselves. Love is more than an action but actions are part of love.
It is not enough for us to claim that we love God and our neighbors; we need to accompany our claim with actions.
The actions of love are infinite. Basically, any action that we do can be an act of love if we do it in love.
Take an example of punishing a child for wrong doing. The punishment is painful but the act of punishing is an act of love.
Actions done in love are not necessarily enjoyable.
Speaking in tongues is an action and it can either be done in love or without love.
When someone speaks in tongues with the same tongue that slanders his neighbor, those tongues are empty. People who speak in tongues but live carnal lives are nothing more than empty vessels making noise.
God gave us the gift of speaking in tongues to help us bring out the fruit of the Spirit. When we speak in tongues, we get edified; we receive love from God.
God expects us to share the love we receive from Him with others.
If you pray in tongues for a breakthrough and God delivers, you can at least share the testimony with others who are also praying for a breakthrough to encourage them.
A believer who receives blessings from God through speaking in tongues but doesn’t share with others when it is fitting is not acting in love. Of course there is the aspect of not throwing pearls to pigs but then we need balance.
Speaking in tongues when you have hatred in your heart is detestable in the eyes of God and your tongues are nothing but irritating noise to Him.
Factors that Lead People to Speak in Tongues without Love
It is not enough if we talk about speaking in tongues without love and fail to talk about how to avoid it. The most important thing is to avoid being someone who speaks in tongues without love.
The following are factors that lead people to speak in tongues without love. Be careful when you find yourself in such situations.
1. Receiving the Gift of Speaking in Tongues without Understanding
Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit and every believer should desire to have it. But then there needs to be proper preparation before someone receives the gift.
Before the disciples of Jesus received the power of the Holy Spirit, they first walked with Jesus and understood what God was doing.
After they knew the mission that God was up to, they had to wait a bit longer before they received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
God wanted them to learn that He loves them and that the power they were receiving was a result of the love He had for them.
The same is true today; God wants us to know that He loves us first before He gives us the power of the Holy Spirit that comes with the ability to speak in tongues.
People who receive the gift of speaking in tongues before understanding that God loves them end up struggling with speaking in tongues without love.
We can only show love according to the measure we have received from God. Starting to speak in tongues when you have not received sufficient love from God guarantees you to speak in tongues without showing love.
Some people who desire to speak in tongues feel bad when they don’t receive the gift after asking for it. In most cases, God withholds the gift until when someone has understood love.
Therefore, as an individual, seek to understand love and let speaking in tongues come afterwards.
2. Speaking in Tongues because everyone is doing it
It is sad that some people speak in tongues not because they desire but because everyone around them is doing it.
Speaking in tongues is supposed to come from a deep desire in the heart. That desire only develops after someone has experienced the love of God.
Actually, people who receive the gift of speaking in tongues without ever asking for it receive it because they have tapped into a dimension of love that requires them to have the gift of speaking in tongues.
In that dimension of love, it is impossible to express how you feel towards God in human terms. God gives you the gift of speaking in tongues so that you express yourself to Him.
Speaking in tongues just because everyone is doing it will lead you into speaking in tongues without love.
3. Paying too much Attention on Speaking in Tongues
There are believers who treasure speaking in tongues more than anything else in the kingdom of God. We are supposed to treasure speaking in tongues as well as other gifts of the Holy Spirit but more importantly, we are supposed to treasure the fruit of the Spirit above gifts.
Love is a fruit of the Spirit of God among others. Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Spirit. Gifts help us develop the fruit but for some believers, gifts are everything and the fruit is non-existent.
If you are a careful Bible reader, you will notice that the Bible fronts the power of the Holy Spirit when it is mentioning speaking in tongues.
On the day of Pentecost, we are told the disciples of Jesus received POWER and then they spoke in tongues.
In Acts 19, the people that Apostle Paul met received the Holy Spirit and then they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
God wants us to understand that gifts manifest after someone has received power. This is supposed to help us seek the power of the Holy Spirit above the gifts.
Love is the power of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking in Tongues without Love: Conclusion
1st Corinthians 13:1 and 2 is an important scripture for anyone who has interest in the gift of speaking in tongues. Sidelining the importance of this scripture will lead to speaking in tongues without love.
People need to be reminded that speaking in tongues without love is empty noise. Each one of us needs to seek love and intimacy with God while using speaking in tongues as a tool to help us achieve our goal.
You can join in spreading this important message by getting yourself one of the t-shirts above that bears the message. Let us make the church value love over speaking in tongues.