Total Physical Response

Although I’m a native English speaker, I’m gaining a lot from attending our English workshops. For the very beginners, we always start off by teaching them basic commands by using the Total Physical Response (TPR) method. They hear a word. We do the action. They repeat the action.

Some of them get it right away, observing, listening, watching, and connecting the different verbs for the actions dictated.

When it’s time to practice, they eagerly listen, awaiting instruction, and only doing what the instruction commands them to do.

Some, however, were overwhelmed at the overall task. Unable to compartmentalize yet desiring to participate, they jumped in, looking left and right to copy their peers, entirely clueless– not listening or watching the pre-instructions as carefully as they ought to.

Still, they plow forward, forming poor learning habits thus building a bad foundation for learning English.

The ones who had quickly caught on -who you’d think would be smarter- only encouraged their behavior by helping the slower ones, shouting the action in their own language instead of letting them learn own their own, at their own pace, and in a way that could build a better foundation for the next level…

Yes, they’re all beginners, coming from backgrounds most likely involving extremely traumatic events… therefore I really shouldn’t be analyzing them so critically.

Plus, I went through the same struggles with the languages that I’ve had to learn. I’m definitely not cocky when it comes to the topic of language acquisition.

However, this analysis was about more than just their participation. For, as I watched both groups either succeed or stumble, I was able to draw a correlation between this activity and my own personal walk with God.




Not Partial Physical Response, or Halfway Physical Response, or Undecided Physical Repsonse…

Total Physical Response.

If I really want to know Christ, to know the way He wants to use me, I must follow the commands He gives with Total Physical Response.

But before I can act, I need to listen in order to gain an understanding of His instructions– His WORD is my foundation– and then ask the Holy Spirit to transform my mind, my heart, and then my actions according to the Words He is giving me.

To SIT, when He says sit. To STAND, when He says stand. To Walk, when He says walk. To JUMP, when He says JUMP.

To SING, when He says sing.

To GO, when He says go.

To PRAY, when He says pray.

And in His timing. Waiting patiently to hear from Him. Revelation precedes response, not the other way around… Do I want to plow ahead without His instruction? Why wait? What am I trying to build?

Ah yes.


How badly do I want to know Him? Serve Him? Love Him?


With everything I am and with everything I have. No shame. No fear. Looking neither right or left to see what others are doing, but with my eyes set on the Lord, heeding His instruction alone.

I will strive to give Him my very best in Total Physical Response of what He has done for me, by His grace and for His glory.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart… “
-Colossians 3:23 


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