Christian Life & The Enneagram: Why It Can Be Helpful

If you’re a social media fiend (like most of us are nowadays), then you’ve probably seen the word “enneagram” floating around the web. Influencers are posting that they are Type this and Type that. But what even is the Enneagram? And what in the world does it have to do with Christianity? The Enneagram of Personality, also known as the Enneagram, is a categorization tool that classifies human personality into a typology of nine interconnected personality types. The symbol is a figure made up of three parts: a circle, an inner triangle (which connects 3-6-9), and an irregular hexagon (which connects 1-4-2-8-5-7).

The test is spreading like wildfire among a wide range of Jesus-followers. It varies with different versions of the test, but according to Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition, here are the most common results you could get:

Type 1 – The Reformer (The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic)

Type 2 – The Helper (The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive)

Type 3 – The Achiever (The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious) THIS IS WHAT RON IS!

Type 4 – The Individualist (The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental) THIS IS WHAT I AM!

Type 5 – The Investigator (The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated)

Type 6 – The Loyalist (The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious)

Type 7 – The Enthusiast (The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered)

Type 8 – The Challenger (The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational)

Type 9 – The Peacemaker (The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent)

So what in the world does this test have to do with Christianity and our walks with the Lord?

Although the Enneagram is not an ancient tool itself, these sorts of type personality classifications have been around since the time when Nehemiah was reconstructing the walls of Jerusalem. At first glance, the Enneagram may look like just another personality test, very similar to the ones that help you discover your Myers-Briggs type. But it’s so much more than just a psychological profile. Another writer on The Gospel Coalition states that, “The true purpose of the Enneagram is to reveal to you your shadow side and offer spiritual counsel on how to open it to the transformative light of grace.” The test is an extremely useful tool that God can use to give us more insight on our true, authentic selves.

In an interview with Chris Heuertz, author of The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth, he is asked why Christians are so drawn to the Enneagram and responds with this: “Because the truth of the Enneagram–that each and every one of us is beautiful and beloved by God–resonates with all of us. We also know the Enneagram’s tragic truth that many of us don’t live into the gifts and grace of that truth.”

A lot of people feel as if little pieces of their identity make up the entirety of who they are as a person. This kind of thinking only ends up messing with our mental health in the long run. This is also how we get ourselves lost and the whole purpose of what God wants us to do is find our way home.

The Enneagram test also helps us as humans to begin an authentic examination of our identity and who we really are. When we accept the beauty of what’s inside of us, we are able to discover the courage to find out what makes us truly beautiful. The Enneagram is helping to do just that. It’s also not only Christians realizing how useful it can be, but many other people around the world too.

Using the Enneagram is definitely an intimate decision to make between yourself and God. Some people aren’t fans of the test because of its roots. But for others, this test can help you better understand yourself and others- so it's well worth it. As you continue to follow God’s plan for your life, you have to remember that others may feel differently about the way that you pursue ways such as the Enneagram. This particular path may even help you not only learn more about yourself but how to communicate better with other “types” on the list.

I Am A Type 4

When I first took this test and saw my results, I couldn't stop reading about my type because of how understood, seen, and heard I felt. It was totally a breath of fresh air for me. I always tried to explain how I was wired to my husband, but always stumbled over my words. This test helped me to articulate myself so well for the first time ever.

If you are a type 4, you know that you are self aware, super sensitive, and usually reserved. We are emotionally raw, and honest- usually creative- we can be moody sometimes, and we are very self-conscious. We are typically melancholy, can struggle with self-indulgence, and self-pity. When we are in a good place in our lives, we are inspired and highly ambitious.

The Enneagram Institute named our type The Individualist because we maintain our identity by seeing ourselves as fundamentally different from others. We usually feel like we are unlike other human beings, and consequently, that no one can understand us or love us the right way. We also often see ourselves as uniquely talented, possessing special, one-of-a-kind gifts, but also as uniquely disadvantaged or flawed. More than any other type, we are acutely aware of and focused on our personal differences and deficiencies.

Absolutely crazy, huh?

What I find really helpful is not reading this and settling with it. I read it and see where I can improve as a person and become a healthier Christian overall. One thing I have noticed about myself about being a four is that I'm incredibly emotional, and sometimes too attracted to things that make me feel sad. Instead of just resting in that being "me", I have decided to let it teach me what I can change. I don't listen to sad music anymore- and instead of just following my feelings each time that I make a decision- I get on my knees and pray to God for wisdom. I love the qualities of being a four- but I want to work on my weaknesses.

Want to learn your type!? Take the free test here.

This church even has a sermon series on each Enneagram type! Check out the first one by clicking here!!!!

While to some, the Enneagram may seem only like a fad or something that has virtually no substance to it, it’s quite the opposite. You can use the results to further explore who you are as a Christian and use it to help bring yourself closer to God. It doesn’t matter your “type”. With all of this being said, I recommend taking the Enneagram and let the benefits help you and your journey in life and with God!

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© 2020 by Jonni Nicole Parsons