There is a trend of thought that is sweeping the internet: The Enneagram.
If this is a new word for you – I promise it’s not gibberish. But rather, it’s a personality test that has been around forever, but has in recent years, exploded onto the pop culture scene — thanks in part to becoming trendy podcast fodder.
Well, one rainy Thursday night, I caved and decided to take this test that I have heard people obsess over. I spent the evening answering random, repetitive questions about my personality, how I deal with people, and see the world.
And I’ve gotta tell you — not only was my result incredibly accurate, but it turns out that the Enneagram is actually a powerful tool we can utilize in our walk with Christ.
Now, you may be scratching you head. And yes — I was too. I mean, let’s be honest — the podcasts that typically talk about the Enneagram Test are hosted by “spiritual but not religious” millennials that keep crystals in their bras to fend off bad energy.
Using it as a tool for Christianity? How do I figure?
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the actual test. There are nine different personality types.
Type 1: The Reformer
Type 2: The Helper
Type 3: The Achiever
Type 4: The Individualist
Type 5: The Investigator
Type 6: The Loyalist
Type 7: The Enthusiast
Type 8: The Challenger
Type 9: The Peacemaker
I am a “Three Wing Two.” But actually, I am exactly a tie between a Type 3 and a Type 2 — both were precisely 86%.
But the thing about the Enneagram Types is that they each have a specific need and specific fear that is characteristic to their personality.
So for my Types — As a Type 3, my basic fear is “of being worthless” and my basic need is to “feel valuable and worthy.” And as a Type 2, my basic fear is “being unworthy of being loved.” And my basic need is “to feel loved.” I mean…how on the nose is THAT?!
I mean — if you were to boil down the origins of the anorexia in my past, and what — quote-unquote — “caused” it — it was my distorted belief that I was unworthy of love. But I believed that lie, literally enough to die for.
Jeez Louise, I shoulda just taken the enneagram test! Would have saved a boat load of money on treatment! — Juuuuuuust kidding.
But that’s the thing about the Enneagram — it tells you, yes: about your personality traits, and your motivations, and compatibilities and aptitudes and weaknesses.
But — it also reveals our tragic flaws, which is incredibly important to identify in our walk with Christ.
We are all the heroes in our own story. And, ask any high schooler in English class, they’ll confirm that every hero has a tragic flaw that, if left unchecked, can lead to their demise. I mean — hello — have you heard my story??
But this tragic flaw — it is what stands in our way between us and Christ. It is the hurdle of sin that we must continually strive to surrender to Christ, for Him to redeem.
You see, yes — we were all made in the beautiful and perfect image of God. And we all take on different reflections of His heart and His spirit. And the Enneagram really captures the different ways we express that.
But as Christians, we can use this test to illuminate those potential cracks in our soul-foundation, that our specific personality trait may be susceptible to.
For example: As a Type 3, I strive to be affirmed and to do my best. Which can be healthy, and lead to confidence, and ambition and motivation. But it can also lead to pride, and being too image conscious, or feeling that one’s value is performance or output-based.
And again — hello — could have saved years of hard work in therapy had I just known this.
But there is real wisdom in knowing that which has the potential to cause a chasm between us and God.
We are called in Ephesians, to put on the armor of God every day. But what if one of the things we’re defending our temple against, is ourself?
The Enneagram is one way to help do just that.
I’m not going to lie, I had always kind of rolled my eyes when I heard people talk about the Enneagram. Like — Oh, what a bunch of new age mumbo-jumbo. Of course, self-obsessed millennials would fall in love with a personality test — about themselves.
But the truth of the matter is, it is a really helpful tool. And not just for ourselves, but also to gain insight into the deeply held needs and fears of our loved ones, too.
Because, no matter how well put together one may seem on the outside, every single one of us has something in our lives that threatens our relationship with Christ. We all have a tragic flaw that can come between us and Christ if we’re not diligent.
And you know what? I’m grateful that we have this tool to help identify what that tragic flaw is.
Because knowledge is power.
What do you think of the Enneagram Test? Have you taken it? Was it accurate?
Sound off in the comments, I’m really super curious!
And if you’d like to take the personality test, you can take it here!
And for a great book about the Enneagram – Click here!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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