If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
Thoughts for Today:In Nehemiah 5, we see another reference to the word "Amen". The people were being charged exorbitant interest rates by the money changers, and they were told to stop (verse 13): "At this the whole assembly said, 'Amen,' and praised the Lord. And the people did as they had promised."
"Amen" is one word that is understood by every believer in every culture. I've heard it shouted by Indian believers in the deepest part of the jungle in Ecuador, natives on the plains of Sudan, and sherpas in the mountains of Nepal. So what does it mean? Very simply: "So be it -- we're in agreement." It's a beautiful expression of oneness. How much more effective would our gatherings at church be if while someone is speaking there were shouts of agreement: "Amen!"
Yet, there can be no expressions of agreement if no one understands what is being said. This is the problem with speaking in tongues in public. In our passage today, Paul reminds the Corinthians that he spoke in tongues more than all of them. Regardless, in the congregational setting, he preferred speaking only words that would be understood by everyone. That way they could not only comprehend what he said, but express their agreement by verbalizing, "Amen!"
Questions to Ponder:I often look at the modern church and wonder how we became so stodgy and stiff. It's just not that way with believers in some of the remote places I've been to. I think we can learn a lot from them. Try it sometime. At your next Bible study, prayer meeting or church service, pay careful attention to what is being said or prayed. When a point resonates with you, say "Amen!" Jesus often taught of the importance of agreeing with one another in prayer. Openly saying, "Amen," is a powerful way for us to engage and connect with one another in prayer and demonstrate our unity.