I recently have started trying to understand the tool known as the Enneagram. It is a personality type system to help us better communicate with others and understand why we think and process the way we do.
I was introduced to it by a Christian mentor I admire and also a strong Christian guy friend late last year. I had heard about DISC and Myers-Brigg (MBTI) but this was a new wave to me of personality distinction. Honestly it seemed weird to me and I didn't research about the types, or the origin for that matter, but I did take a short version of the test and thought I was a Two.
Then this Summer I began listening to Annie F. Downs' Summer series where every episode she interviews a male and female of the week's number. I listened to the Two first thinking it was probably my fit and there was SO MUCH to relate to! Then I listened to the Three (sorry Ones I am going to go back and hear yours, I promise!). I did this thinking I was for sure 2 wing 3.
If you don't get the whole thing of Enneagram welcome to the show, neither do I.
Hence, me still trying to figure out where I land and such. But to make a long story short it was in this discovery that I was no longer sure what my number is that I put up a video on my Instagram Story and FB page asking people what their number was... this was me trying to grasp and also become a better friend as I listen to the whole nine episodes this Summer for the nine types. To be able to understand better how others think. Disclaimer: in no way do I think mankind can be condensed to nine types but I do think there are things to learn here.
In all this discovery and people messaging me, connecting with me through this personality test I got a couple of messages questioning my use of the personality test.
Their concern being that the Enneagram is not a tool based in Christianity and that the origins are questionable.
We sadly cannot have a perfect man-made (hence MAN) system of even personality determination. I am appreciative of these people letting me know things about the Enneagram's beginnings that I did not know! I wish the Christians who introduced me to the Enneagram had told me about how we really don't know exactly where it comes from.
But the same fact of how I believe it has evolved into something that helps people has not changed. I firmly think we can use personality tests like the Enneagram, DISC, and Myers-Brigg to love people better. Like the love languages... for the mind. There is no form of worship or obsession here!!
I heed you, my friends, to remember it is a helpful tool not absolute truth.
I am not relaying this story to say more than this: it is healthy to know where Enneagram comes from (although no one actually knows it seems) but to me it is more so about where it is going. To see the Church utilize the personality components of it for reaching others and loving them better. I don't know about you but that's a huge win.
Like us, Enneagram is now proving a testimony in how by God's design we are unique and each of us relay His nature.
As a potential Four who longs for beauty and to be seen and wanted but also extraordinarily unique I realize God's call to my heart - that He has called me to live in contentment that I am made enough by Jesus' love. That I am called to be the one standing at another's side as they grieve and as they rejoice. That I am made in His image and that He reveals Himself to me sometimes in the rain. But that no matter how often we feel overlooked or we feel the pressure to prove ourselves; it all comes back to Jesus.
No matter what type you are, the Gospel is the same. There is Good News! For me it means resting well and knowing if I just sit here I am just as loved (Three) but also that no one wants me to live my God given purpose more than Him (Four). 4w3.
Let's keep the Enneagram in perspective as a tool but also as we shouldn't judge people for their questionable and unknown beginnings - this is a tool that can be used for good. And if someone who does not know the Lord but understands their Enneagram - how much better for us as Christians to know their strongest desires, loves and fears to show them exactly how the Lord loves them there but also covers and brings them out of all those fears for a perfect good. A perfect good not found in any personality test or even human but in Jesus Christ Himself.
As the founder of LaceDevotion Ministries (LDM),
Elizabeth is passionate about introducing young women to Jesus Christ.
"There is no better way to become who you are meant to be than to be with the One who created you to BE. He knows the things etched within
your heart. Don't you think He can handle your questions and hurts? He wants something more than your time. He wants YOU!"
If you are new to the LDM family, we welcome you here today.