Bondman, when I was also younger in my faith and age, I was taught differently about 1 Corinthians 12-14. I thought they did not fully explain the chapters to us. You are correct in saying that prophecy is "better" than tongues and we are encouraged to go after the gift of prophecy (not forgetting that we should also be seeking agape love for our brothers and sisters in Christ described in 1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:1-13 for love is the greatest gift! Verse 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away...........13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.) on 1 Corinthians 14:5I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. 1 Corinthians 14:2 describes that speaking in tongues is talking to God and not to people: 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. The people that I know who truly have the gift of tongues don't speak in public for a show to their brethren, thus, seek their praises. They reminded me of Matthew 6:5-7: 5"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Why is prophecy better? Because they edify, exhort and console the Church. As a believer, I'd rather be built up and/or be corrected (I'm hoping that they'd speak the "truth in love" ) and/or be consoled by those that have the gift of prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14:3,4: 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. Verse 5 Paul prefers that all speak in tongues, not a certain group only, but moreso that we prophesy. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. Verses 6-11 is about the limitations of tongues. Self-explanatory. 6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played?8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. Verse 12-13 Paul wants each of us to exceed the gifts that we already have. 12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.