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Why the Enneagram? pt. 1

I’ve shared some thoughts on the Enneagram recently. I know it’s growing in popularity, especially among certain Christian circles. I think it’s a helpful tool, and can give you a lot of insight into your own personality and that of others. But why even bother at all? Isn’t it just like any other personality quiz or horoscopes? Why should anyone be interested in the Enneagram unless all your friends are doing it and you want to talk about your number at the next dinner party?

First of all, if that’s all you want to get out of it, then seriously don’t bother.

However, if you’re ready to go on a serious journey of self-discovery and transformation, then the Enneagram (IMHO) is the best tool to help with that process.

You may be on the fence about it. So let me lay out what I believe the be the biblical foundation for this transformation process and why the Enneagram can help with it.


Lets begin with three fundamental truths:

1. Every person is created in the Image of God.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

Every single calorie-consuming, oxygen-processing, hemoglobin-pumping human is made in the Image of God the creator. Your new neighbors from some country in Central America you can never quite remember? Image of God. Your in-laws with whom you’d rather not spend more time with than necessary? Image of God. That awful customer who is berating you for something you had no control over? Image of God. Your boss who is placing unrealistic expectations on you? Image of God. The mass shooter? The corrupt politician? The strung-out hooker on the corner? Image. Of. God.

So what does this mean? Each person is worthy of respect. Each person needs to love and to be loved. Each person has the capacity for great things. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not against flesh and blood. In other words, if you can hit them and make them bleed, then they are not your enemy. They are a potential brother or sister in Christ.

Yes, some people are simply unbearable to be around. But so are you sometimes. The fact that we are created in God’s image and likeness means that each person has some amount of good in them that’s worth discovering.

But let’s be honest. Sometimes the hardest person to see the good within is…ourselves. It’s easy for us to lose sight of the God-Image within ourselves. That’s when we become fearful, worrisome, anxious, or angry. That’s when we become filled with shame or regret or envy. The Enneagram helps us to rediscover the Image of God within others and, more importantly, within ourselves.

2. Our highest calling is to love God with our entire being – body, heart, and mind.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

This passage is known as The Shema, from the Hebrew word “hear” or “listen.” When asked what the greatest command in Scripture is, Jesus quotes  The Shema. The greatest command, the highest calling in all the Bible is to love God with our entire being. We must love God with our heart (our emotional center), with all our soul (our intellect), and with all our strength (our physical bodies).

In Enneagram language we see this in the triads – Head, Heart, Body – or Feeling, Thinking, Doing. Each one of us is drawn to one of these expressions more than the others as our way of relating to God.

If we are head people, then we will be really into Bible studies. We will want to know and learn as much as possible about the Bible, history, theology, etc. We want our worship songs to be biblically accurate. We want the preaching to teach us something new. We want to sit and talk for hours about systematic theology.

If we are heart people, then we want worship to be passionate and full of emotions. We want to connect on a deep level with the music and the prayers. We will want more creative, artistic forms of expression in worship. Maybe tears. We want a preacher who is emotive and expressive and deeply moving. We want to be inspired deep in our souls.

If we’re body people, then we’re looking at the clock hoping the preacher doesn’t get too long winded because we’ve got things to do. We’d rather be out serving, helping, making a difference. We feel most connected with God when we’re actually doing the things we’ve heard about in church. We want to experience God in action. Enough studying. Enough sappy worship songs. Let’s get going!

Each of us will be drawn to one of these more than the other. We will be dominant in thinking, feeling, or doing, and we will also be regressive in one of the remaining areas. The Enneagram helps us understand which is our dominant center and which is our regressive center. The goal is to bring all three into balance or rhythm so that we can truly love God with all of our heart, soul, and strength.

3. Our love for God is fulfilled in loving others AND loving ourselves.

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)

After stating the Shema as the “first and greatest” command, Jesus then said there was a second command like it. He then quotes from the passage above, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s not even that this is the second place command and the Shema is first place. It’s more like “Command 1.A and Command 1.B.” We show our love for God by loving our neighbor as ourselves.

These verses back up this point:

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)

If we claim to love God, then we must show it by loving others. It’s as plain as that. We get it. That’s what we’re taught. Love God. Love others. That’s the life of a disciple in a nutshell, right?

But we skip over the last part of Command 1.B – Love your neighbor as yourself. We don’t tend to emphasize self-love that much. Admittedly, we do run the risk of becoming self-absorbed if we emphasize self-love and self-care too much. But if we don’t emphasize it at all, then we can become self-loathing. We can become our own worst critics.

I can almost guarantee that you speak more harshly to yourself than you ever would to your best friend or your significant other. You would never call your girlfriend fat (at least I hope!). You would never call your spouse a worthless moron. You would never call your child a failure for missing a couple questions on their test. Yet we say these things and worse (!) to ourselves every day.

We need to develop a sense of love and compassion for ourselves, too. We need to show mercy and forgiveness to ourselves, too. We cannot pour from an empty vessel. We cannot truly love others if we are not loving and accepting of ourselves, who God made us to be.

Paul talks about the need for self-love in his instructions to husbands and wives:

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church (Ephesians 5:28-29)

The Enneagram is a tool for developing empathy and compassion for others and for yourself. It will reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly about you. You will find things you never even knew were there. But the Enneagram will help you see that for every shadow there is a light, for every bit of ugliness there is beauty, for every fault there is a gift. The worst part about you and the best part about you are often two sides of the same coin. And that coin bears God’s image and likeness.

11 Great Enneagram Resources
3 Benefits of the Enneagram

The Fear of Insignificance | My Life As A THREE

In his book The Sacred Enneagram, Chris Heuertz explains it this way:

Their quietly competitive nature is rooted in their inner drive to prove to themselves that they are valuable. This inner drive is perpetuated by the Basic Fear of the Three, that somehow they are hopelessly worthless and characteristically base.

Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile frame it this way in The Road Back to You:

Once in a blue moon when Threes slow down long enough to reflect on their lives, they might feel like they’re a fraud. I wear a thousand masks, but which is the authentic me? When this flash of insight comes to them it surfaces a Three’s worst fear: What if there’s no one behind the image? What if I’m no more than an empty suit?

The Basic Need for Threes is success, whatever that looks like to us. You would think that would make failure the corresponding Fear of the Three. And while we Threes try to avoid *public* failure at all costs, I’m not really that afraid of failure. If I try something and it doesn’t work, then I try something else. Threes are adaptable like that.

The problem with failure, though, is that it’s so closely tied to our own sense of self-worth. We avoid failure because we fear being viewed as not valuable, worthless, useless, insignificant. If I’m going to bust my tail working, performing, achieving, sacrificing, doing…I want to know that it will all be worth it in the end.

What if I’m no more than an empty suit?


Again, I can’t speak for all Threes, I can only share my own experience. But I think I can say this with confidence: Being a Three pastor is so hard!

You would think that pastoring would be great for Threes. We get to be up in front leading. Our job is very performative. We get the praise and respect of a lot of people. We get to change masks constantly and almost no one knows. (I’ll get to the mask-wearing bit in a later post.)

While all those things are true, it can also be incredibly frustrating work. There is no end to ministry. I can never say that I’m done or that I’ve accomplished everything I want to. There is often very little guidance and few guidelines. And worst of all, there is no good, clear measure of success for a pastor.

Is success defined by attendance numbers? Baptisms? Giving? What happens when the numbers begin to drop? Even if it’s not our fault, we can’t help but take these things personally – because our identity is so closely tied to what we do.

And to make matters worse, the 21st Century American culture doesn’t value the leadership of pastors (especially youth pastors!) like we used to. Church is optional, even for most Christians. The job of pastoring is getting harder and harder with less and less payoff. That’s a terrible way of viewing the work, but it’s how Threes, especially, see the world.

So as a minister, I’ve found that I can’t stake my sense of significance solely within the framework of traditional church. If I want to make an impact, I have to be involved in other aspects of community life. That’s why you won’t find me in the office as much as you used to. I get the feeling that I’m not the only minister who feels this way.


Where have I been searching for significance?

I’ve been substitute teaching at the high school and junior high in town. I’ve been getting involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at both schools. I hold leadership positions in both the Mitchell Area Ministerial Association and the Lawrence County Youth Network. There is a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition that has started up recently that I’m involved with. I’m getting my oldest son involved in Scouts and Soccer programs.

I write blog posts.

As I type all this out I realize that significance is another one of those intangibles. That’s the paradox of the Three. We want to feel significant so badly that we exchange significance for busyness in order to feel like we’re somehow gaining significance.

The “wounding message” Threes received in childhood is that we are loved and valued for what we do. Threes don’t crave success. We crave the feelings love and significance that comes from it. This sets us on an endless cycle to do more in order to feel more valuable. Believe it or not, Threes really do have a hard time accepting that we are loved no matter what we do. We all need to have a moment of realization that we have intrinsic worth and value whether we “succeed” or not.

It took me a long time to come to grips with this. And still most days I have a hard time remembering it. And this is why one of the best things that can happen to a Three is to experience that which we strive so hard to avoid: public failure. For many Threes, myself included, the only thing that will finally and fully convince us of our own value is failing publicly in a big way – and still receiving love and acceptance from those closest to us.

When I fail and think What if I’m no more than an empty suit? God is there to remind me that I am his beloved child. That’s why this song from Relient K has been so helpful to me over the years.

If you are a Three, what has been your experience with finding significance? Do you struggle with earning love and worth? Remember that you are God’s beloved, not because of anything you’ve done but because of who God is.

Review: The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships

The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships
The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships by Suzanne Stabile
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been following the work of Suzanne Stabile and Ian Cron for a couple of years now. I’ve read The Road Back to You, and I was an avid listener of their podcast by the same name. I’ve continued to follow Ian’s podcast, Typology, but I’ve kind of lost touch with Suzanne.

Until this book.

Suzanne Stabile has a way of understanding relationship dynamics better than the vast majority of people. This book, The Path Between Us, is going to be a helpful reference guide for years to come. The Enneagram is abundant in wisdom not just for discovering more about ourselves but understanding who we are in relation to other people. Why is it hard for Sevens and Fours to experience lasting, fruitful relationships? Why do Fives and Ones butt heads all the time? How can Threes seem so outgoing but be so inwardly lonely?

This is not a book for Enneagram novices. This is not the first book you should read on the subject. But if you’ve read The Road Back to You and have put in some Enneagram work in your own life, this is a great book to take you to the next level.

And if you’re having trouble finding your own particular number, this can help narrow it down for
you by revealing how the different types interact with each other. If you’re stuck between two or three numbers, Suzanne’s relational insights can help reveal what’s really going on so you can be more confident in knowing your type and knowing what to do next.

S0 many people can benefit from this book – managers, pastors, parents, spouses. Basically, if you deal with or interact with people on a regular basis, this book is for you.

View all my reviews

My Life as a THREE

So like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been really diving into the Enneagram the last couple of years. I am by no means an expert. But I have seen the truth and beauty in the system. No, it’s not scientific; however, it’s true at some deep level I can’t quite describe.

I’ve taken the Meyers-Briggs and the DISC personality inventories before. They were interesting, but they weren’t really all that helpful in my day-to-day life. So I went for several years not really giving much thought to personality and development. Then I came across the Enneagram through some podcasts I listened to. That’s when everything changed.

I did what you do. I read up on some of the numbers, and I took an online test or two. I originally tested as a ONE, but that didn’t seem quite right. After a while it became clear that I am dominant in Type THREE. As I read and researched more, I found myself being described in ways I never could have voiced before. Someone knew me. Someone knew my desires, my fears, my approach to relationships, and my view of work. Someone knew exactly what I do when I get stressed out. Someone knew. How did they know?

Because I’m no expert, I’m not going to take time right now to lead you through the entire journey. There are many great resources available right now that can help you if you are seeking the wisdom of the Enneagram for your life.

What I want to do is relate my lived experience of being a THREE. I know, that’s a very 3 thing to want to do. But honestly, I don’t want the spotlight to be on me. I want to show any skeptics, critics, or seekers out there how true the Enneagram can be.

The Enneagram Institute has some helpful resources and descriptions of each Type if you want to find out more. But here is the basic overview of Type THREE.

Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.



I didn’t think I was a 3 at first. Like I said, I originally tested as a ONE. Why? Because I’ve known 3s like they are described above. I’ve known the types of guys who work a crowd, who name drop in conversations, who always try to one-up everyone else and flaunt their successes. I can’t stand those people. Then I realized I can see right through their game because I am that person, too.

I’m not an extroverted 3, which is kind of a weird dynamic. I’m more introverted. So the descriptions of 3s often sound like caricatures and stereotypes. I’m not overly competitive in the way most people think. But my driving motivation is the need to be (or appear to be) successful.

Pursuing success doesn’t necessarily mean climbing the corporate ladder, wearing the finest clothes, driving the nicest cars, etc. Success doesn’t have to mean fame and recognition by the countless masses. As a 3 I realize that success is a self-defined term. Success is whatever I think it is. And the appearance of success takes different forms depending on what in-group we’re trying to impress.

What does that look like for me? Well…I’m a youth minister, so I’m not ever going to have the biggest house or the nicest car. I drive a hand-me-down ’99 Civic that does 0 to 60 eventually. But get this – I have a beard; I wear Converse and Vans; I carry a leather messenger bag; I work on a MacBook Pro; I read on an iPad; I post to Instagram using my iPhone. These are all “status symbols” among youth pastors. Even the crappy Civic adds to the whole “dedicated youth worker” vibe.

As a youth minister, success is hard to define and pursue. That’s the nature of church work. When can I say I’ve “succeeded”? There’s really no advancement unless I moved to a bigger church (which is a really terrible way of “moving up the ladder”). I try hard to avoid the numbers trap. So I typically have to find other ways to measure success – often in the form of status symbols of some kind. Church work can be an anxiety-inducing beast for an unhealthy 3. We’re always chasing success that is always out of reach.

The pursuit of success and achievement can lead 3s to become overly competitive. But for me, the competitive drive is with myself. I don’t need to be better than other people. I only need to be better than myself. I’ve always felt a drive to be the best me possible.

When I was in high school, it wasn’t enough to be a straight-A student. I had to be Valedictorian – and I was. It wasn’t enough to play trumpet. I had to be first chair – and I was. It wasn’t enough to be in the youth group. I had to be up front leading – and I was.

I remember one class in high school – I think it was Physical Science – in which I set a goal to have a final total grade above 100%. And I did.

I don’t say all this to brag. I really don’t care about any of that. I’m proud of my academic achievement, but it’s not worth dwelling on – which is another thing 3s do. We set a goal. We achieve said goal. We move on to the next goal. We typically don’t dwell too long on our successes, which seems counter to our type. But as a 3, I’ve got a list of goals a mile long in my head. And celebrating achievements is rarely on the list.

Anyway, as I was saying – I’m not trying to brag. I just want to give you insight into how my mind works. I am my own biggest competition. I set goals and standards for myself, but rarely are they so high that I’m in danger of failing. Failure is not fun no matter what Type you are. But if you’re a 3, failure SUUUUUUCKS. The fear of failure (again, as defined by me) is what keeps me lying awake at night. Fear that I’m not doing enough brings about the existential dread at 3AM for no apparent reason.

If I’m not doing, then who am I?

I’ll talk more about the fear of failure later. But as a 3 in unhealth, I can tie my identity so closely to my own definition of success that I can’t really see or focus on anything else. Threes are the Type most in danger of becoming workaholics. And I believe it. That’s because we have a hard time believing that our lives have meaning apart from what we do, that we can be loved just for who we are.

As a 3 who has been a lifelong overachiever, I find myself drawn to Paul’s words in Philippians 3. The older I get, the more I appreciate this passage. If you’re a 3, take these words to heart.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:4b-7)

If you’re a 3, how would you define success? What has been your experience with success and achievements? If you’re a different Type, what is your relationship to success? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss a post!

11 Great Enneagram Resources

You may have no idea what I mean when I talk about the Enneagram. Or you may have been getting to know the Enneagram for a while now. Whether you’re a complete beginner or more advanced, I want to share some resources that I have found really helpful over the last couple of years. Whether you would rather read books, listen to podcasts, or watch online videos, I’ve got you covered.


1) The Road Back to You, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
This book is by far the best introductory primer on the Enneagram. It gives a great overview of what the Enneagram is, how to use it, and a basic description of each type. You will be tempted to skip straight to the number you think you are, but you can’t fully understand your number without knowing the other eight numbers, too. I recommend getting a physical copy of the book so you can share it with your spouse, family, and friends. You’re going to want to share it when you’re done, I promise!

2) The Road Back to You Podcast with Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
The podcast makes a great supplement to the book. Ian and Suzanne use this platform to explain each type more in depth and to interview people of each type – celebrities, authors, musicians, pastors, and more. It’s always a great time with these two.

You are not very likely to discover your dominant type by simply taking an online assessment. It’s always recommended to thoroughly research each type to discover which one describes you the best. But if you’re on the fence between two or three different numbers, this assessment can help narrow it down for you.

4) Sandals Church, “A Series Called YOU”
Pastor Matt Brown of Sandals Church in California recently gave a sermon series exploring each of the nine types from a biblical perspective. You can find these on YouTube. Here’s the first one in the series.


5) The Sacred Enneagram, by Chris Heuertz
So you know your type. Now what? Heuertz leads us on a journey to transformation and deeper spiritual growth. Heurtz’s own life experience and knowledge of the Enneagram is truly inspiring. He challenges his readers to use their knowledge of their type to develop contemplative prayer and meditative practices.

6) The Path Between Us, by Suzanne Stabile
I’m currently reading this new release, so I can’t give a full review. But I know it’s worth recommending. Stabile is a relationship expert, brilliantly explaining how the Enneagram types relate to and work with each other.

7) The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert
This is nearly the literal textbook for studying the Enneagram. This is not for the casual novice or first time reader. It’s a beast of a book to get through. But the depth of knowledge and wisdom contained within the pages make it well worth the effort for those who are willing to put in the work. Rohr is truly one of the greatest Enneagram masters of our time.

8) Typology Podcast with Ian Morgan Cron
After completing their Road Back to You podcast, Cron and Stabile went their own ways. Cron started up this podcast that picks up where The Road Back to You left off. It’s still and interview-based podcast exploring the uniqueness of each of the nine types. Typology assumes the listeners have a working knowledge of the Enneagram in order to take us deeper into the types.

9) Sleeping At Last Podcast
Singer/Song Writer/Musician Ryan O’Neal produces music under the name Sleeping At Last. O’Neal has been captivated by the beauty of the Enneagram in recent years and has undertaken a project to write and record one song for each of the nine types. On this podcast he plays the song, details his writing process, and explores each type with the help of his friend Chris Heuertz (author of The Sacred Enneagram).

The Enneagram Institute offers a ton of great online resources, like articles, type descriptions, and assessments. It can serve as a helpful reference guide in keeping it all straight and learning more about the nuances and subtleties of the Enneagram.

11) Casey McCollum
McCullom is an Enneagram teacher and trainer who hosts workshops and coaching sessions for people across the country. He has a great online presence – Facebook and Instagram – and is always sharing helpful bits of wisdom and advice. He is definitely worth the follow.

12) Enneadog on Twitter
This is a Twitter account that describes the different Enneagram types through Dog GIFs. It’s as wonderful as it sounds. Give them a follow!

What would you add to this list? Are there any other Enneagram resources you’ve found particularly helpful? Share them below in the comments.

3 Benefits of the Enneagram

If you’ve been paying attention to Christian books, podcasts, Twitter, and YouTube, then I’m sure you’ve at least heard of something called the Enneagram. You may be familiar with it, or you may have no idea what that term means. I’m no expert, and I’ll direct you to some helpful resources in a coming post. But for now, I want to mention just three key ways my life has improved because of this tool called the Enneagram (inn-ē-uh-gram).

1) The Enneagram has introduced me to myself.

At its most basic, the Enneagram is a personality typing system. You may have taken some kind of personality assessment before, like the Meyers-Briggs (I’m an ENFJ, whatever that means). The Enneagram spells out nine different personality types represented by a number along a circular figure. Each number represents a different way of viewing and interacting with the world.

You may wonder what’s the big deal. But it’s more than just picking a number or taking a test online. As you’re reading through the descriptions of the numbers, there will come a point when you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. You’ll get a sinking feeling in your stomach because suddenly you feel exposed for all the world to see. The Enneagram knows your deepest fears, shortcomings, and desires. The Enneagram knows how you react in stress and how you react in security. It reveals healthy and unhealthy patterns of behavior that creep up in your life.

I remember having that experience. I identify as a dominant Type THREE, sometimes called the Performer or Achiever. In times of stress, according to the Enneagram, I take on the unhealthy characteristics of a Type NINE, the Peacemaker. As I read the description of what that looked like, my jaw dropped. I think I got goosebumps. I felt nervous – in my bedroom alone reading this to myself. The way it described a THREE in stress was exactly what I found myself doing when I was going through times of “disintegration,” frustration, and stress.

It was like I was finally seeing myself clearly in the mirror for the first time. Warts and all. It isn’t a fun process. You may not like what you learn about yourself. But somehow you will know it’s all true.

2) The Enneagram has given me a new language.

I’ve never really been good at emotions and feelings. Chalk that up to being a THREE, I guess. But the Enneagram has given me a whole new vocabulary with which to communicate more clearly about my feelings.

Katelyn and I have been married for almost ten and a half years. We dated four and a half years before that. We’ve known each other for over fifteen years, and it’s just been in the last couple of years that we have really started to understand each other. She has learned things about me that I didn’t even know how to tell her – because I didn’t have the language for it. I’ve learned things about her that I never really would have known otherwise. We have been able to connect on a deeper level than ever because of the Enneagram.

Not only that, but it has helped me in my ministry. I work with teenagers full time. They are growing and developing their personalities at breakneck speed. They don’t know what’s going on inside them. But in listening to their stories and hearing how they describe themselves, their fears, their desires, their insecurities, I am better able to connect with them. The more knowledge I gain of the other eight types, the better I am to connect with people where they are and truly begin to understand what they’re going through and how they see the world.

3) The Enneagram has taught me what it means to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself.

The Nine types of the Enneagram have been called “The Nine Faces of God.” Each type reveals something of God’s own nature. Each type is also a path toward transformation in Christ. It’s not just a way of being, it’s a way of becoming who we were made to be. The Enneagram reveals the defense mechanisms we put in place to keep God and people at a distance. It also shows us what it looks like to break down those walls and allow ourselves to be fully known and loved.

The Enneagram is teaching me what it looks like to love God with my whole self, not just my intellect, not just my instincts, not just my emotions, but all of it. The Enneagram urges us to integrate head, heart, and hands. True worship and spiritual transformation is a process that includes thinking, feeling, and doing. Each of us is dominant in one area and regressive in another. Our task to to lean into the areas of weakness to become a fully integrated worshiper of God.

Through learning the Enneagram and confronting my “shadow side,” I am brought to a place of self-love and self-acceptance. Out of that place of inward health, I am better able to show love, grace, and forgiveness toward others. In other words, the Enneagram is a tool for developing empathy.

Jesus said the greatest command in Scripture is to love God with all you have and to love your neighbor as yourself. I have not found a more practical tool for learning how to love than the Enneagram.

Are you familiar with the Enneagram? What’s your Type? How has knowing the Enneagram helped you? Let me know in the comments below.