Unlike last week's passage, I find the message a bit harder to discern in this week's passage. However, as in most, if not all, passages of scripture a message is there. After reading the passage about half a dozen times I think I found at least one message I can discuss here with you. (If you have not read the passage go ahead and read it so you can better understand my point. Of course different passages of scripture speak differently to each of us so you may find many easily understood messages - if you do I would love to hear from you about them.)
The message I received from this passage has to do with being understood. Paul refers to speaking in tongues and even seems to have an enthusiasm for this. Evidently the Corinthians do as well. Paul points out to the Corinthians that this enthusiasm can be carried to an extreme - just like many of us when we have an enthusiasm for something.
Paul tells the Corinthians that it would make Christianity seem ridiculous to a non-believer if that non-believer heard a sermon in a language which neither the preacher nor the assembly understood. However, if the preacher plainly interprets scripture in everyday language and simple words he might convert the non-believer to Christianity. Scripture truth, plainly and duly taught, has a wonderful power to awaken the conscience and touch the heart.
Words can have a powerful influence on people. The words you say and the words I say can change people. However, these words have to be understood by the receiver. I could read a Vector Calculus text book to a three year old hoping that three year old would learn the subject. Chances are he or she would not as they would get bored, think I am crazy, and would walk away. In the same token when we begin to discuss our believe and faith with those who have not experienced the joy of allowing Jesus Christ into their hearts we should start by teaching the basic concepts first. Concepts that can be easily understood. One of the most basic concepts is that of love.
Wishing you much success in your walk with Christ,