Have you wondered what all the hype is about the Enneagram?
Maybe you first heard of the nine-type (times infinity) personality assessment made popular by Ian Cron’s book, The Road Back to You.
Or maybe you’re like me and heard about the Enneagram years ago, but dismissed it as some voodoo pop psychology. Ahem, I was wrong! I wish paid closer attention when I was in the throes of emotional healing and spiritual growth. I’m sure it would have accelerated the process.
Maybe you have no idea what I am talking about . . . and wonder why the Enneagram, or studying any of the personality profile assessments, even matters on this faith journey.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe that God primarily works through His Word by the Power of the Holy Spirit — that work is irreplaceable.
But I also believe that God is kind and gives us tools to understand His design and embrace His work more fully.
When we understand our wiring, specifically our strengths and weaknesses, giftings and passions, relational preferences and learning styles, we’re better equipped to take up our part in the body of Christ and co-labor with God in His purposes.
Throughout the Scriptures, we see a clear call to pursue unity in community and to bring our gifts forth for the benefit of the body of Christ as a whole. In Hebrews 12:14, Paul urges to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone. . . “. Fulfilling these mandates it is no easy feat. But by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, we can move toward each other in love with grace and mercy, compassion and patience, humility and forgiveness.
Nothing compares to the Spirit of God working in the people of God.
That is the end goal, of course. We want to see God fill us, move us, and transform us not only as individuals but also in our families and workplaces, our churches and communities. So while a personality assessment may seem like an individualist undertaking, they can actually be incredibly valuable tools for moving toward one another with greater understanding and purpose.
As a coach, I’ve witnessed many of my clients benefit from using the Highlands Ability Battery, which is more than just a personality assessment because it is not subjective and is linked to a career database. These clients walk away with a deeper understanding of how they fit within their family of origin, present-day family, and workplace. They gain insight into how their wiring is impacting their marriage, motherhood, and missional work. It’s a profound experience and one I highly recommend for anyone in any stage of life.
So you might wonder why I would suggest the Enneagram if I’m an advocate of the Highlands Ability Battery?
It’s quite simple! The Enneagram assessment is easily accessible to take and there is a plethora of content written about it, so insights can be gleaned quickly in regards to how each personality is wired. The only caveat is to consider the theology behind the various commentaries as well as the origins of the Enneagram. In that regard, I err on the side of applying what I learn through a biblical worldview, which we have to do with whatever we watch, read, or listen to on any topic.
The Enneagram Institute describes eacy personality type with these following brief description:
Type One [The Reformer] is principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.
Type Two [The Helper] is generous, demonstrative, people-pleasing, and possessive.
Type Three [The Achiever] is adaptable, excelling, driven, and image-conscious.
Type Four [The Individualist] is expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.
Type Five [The Investigator] is perceptive, innovative, secretive, and isolated.
Type Six [The Loyalist] is engaging, responsible, anxious, and suspicious.
Type Seven [The Enthusiast] is spontaneous, versatile, acquisitive, and scattered.
Type Eight [The Challenge] is self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational.
Type Nine [The Peacemaker] is receptive, reassuring, complacent, and resigned.
At a glance, that’s not super helpful. However, if you study the Enneagram for yourself, you’ll discover that it also conveys how your personality functions when you’re in optimal emotional health and feeling secure compared to emotional stress and dysfunction. The Enneagram Institue provides nine levels of emotional health, which is profoundly sobering! This insight combined with the Highlands Ability Battery results can be truly life-changing.
When you understand how you respond to stress triggers, you can make strides toward managing your emotional health.
That investment is invaluable in the pursuit of health in our relationships, peace within our communities, and unity within the body of Christ.
For example, I believed my struggle with anger was solely the by-product of the emotional and physical abuse that marred my childhood. No doubt the time I spent in counseling, healing from the PTSD and discovering God’s truth where the enemy sowed in lies to my heart and mind, were absolutely transformational in becoming a no-longer angry woman.
Love flows through me like never before, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get angry.
Actually, that is my first response when faced with an injustice, feeling afraid, or being triggered by an unruly situation. My reaction isn’t what it used to be, praise God! But the anger is still there and, it turns out, will always be! As a Type 8, the Challenger, tied with Type 1, the Reformer, anger is a natural reaction, because both of those numbers exist in the Anger Gut Triad, compared to the Shame or Fear Triad. Yes, this is Enneagram jargon, which will make so much more sense when you dive into understanding your personality type.
We all have a natural response to stress, which is great news! When we understand our issues, we can yield them to God. We can surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit, asking God to manifest in us more fully in our weaknesses.
Personality assessments are simply tools to help us peer into our Creator’s design!
Through using personality assessments, whether it is the Enneagram, Highlands Ability Battery, DISC, or Strength Finders, we can discover how to navigate through the stressors that tend to bring out the worst in us while seeking God to accomplish His best.
How can you make the most of the Enneagram?
One: Take the Enneagram Assessment
Two: Start reading!
Three: Pray for God to Lead!
Ask God to give you the insight you need to respond to the assessment results and move towards emotional health as well as spiritual maturity! Keep your eyes on your own personality without trying to fix everyone else’s!
Four: Use the Results & Other Tools for Growth
Put the Enneagram to work for you by taking note of how you respond to stress and as well as when you feel secure and use essential oils to support your emotional and physical health. Does that sound strange?
Well, because the limbic system in your brain, which controls your emotions, is located adjacent to the olfactory system, which is your sense of smell, aromatherapy can help support emotional health.
It’s amazing, actually. You can learn more by grabbing A Guide to Essential Oils for Your Enneagram Type.
So are you ready to get started putting your personality to good use by embracing God’s design?
If you’d like help strategizing your results, let’s work together. I count it a privilege to support you in your journey of becoming the women God intended and impact this world with kingdom hope.