So how does this Enneagram know me so well? I don’t know and quite frankly I don’t know if I want to get too invested in this whole personality test world. Sometimes I think personality tests try to categorize different types of people and it can kind of put ourselves (and God) into a box.
God is the creator of humanity and we are made in his image. God made us all unique and different. No two people are the same. So even if I have a similar personality type to other Enneagram 4s, we are all different. We have different stories, different pasts, different desires, different questions. I believe there is more to our personalities than just the 16 Myers-Briggs or the 9 Enneagram types.
How cool is it that God created us in his image with many different types of personalities? What do you think that says about God himself? It helps me see that God is big, complex, deep, layered, and unlimitedly creative! That is a cool thought.
But back to the Enneagram. It is important for us as Bible believing Christians not to take these man-made quizzes with too much seriousness. Yes it can be helpful but we have to keep it in its place. This article put out by The Gospel Coalition I found most helpful in navigating those murky waters. What I appreciated most about the article is the time he took to really do his historical research on the Ennegram.
Every chapter [of The Road Back To You – a foundational Enneagram book] talks about some combination of forgiving myself, finding my true self, becoming spiritually evolved, being healed from wounded messages, dealing with codependent behaviors, and pursuing personal wholeness. This is not the language of the Bible. We hear nothing about fear of man, the love of the praise of man, covenantal promises, covenantal threats, repentance, atonement, heaven or hell. When faith is mentioned it’s described as believing in something or someone bigger than you (203).
In a critical section at the beginning of the book, the authors describe their understanding of sin: “Sin as a theological term has been weaponized and used against so many people that it’s hard to address the subject without knowing you’re possibly hurting someone who has ‘stood on the wrong end of the preacher’s barrel,’ so to speak.” To be sure, we must face “our darkness,” but then Cron and Stabile give this definition of sin (from Rohr): “Sins are fixations that prevent the energy of life, God’s love, from flowing freely. [They are] self-erected blockades that cut us off from God and hence from our own authentic potential” (30). To quote their definition is to refute it. There is nothing here about sin as lawlessness, sin as spiritual adultery, sin as cosmic betrayal against a just and holy God.Enneagram: The Road Back to You, Or to Somewhere Else?
It would be easy to see our personality flaws as just that: flaws. But it would be a detriment to our true spiritual growth if we did not see our sin for exactly what it is: sin. So, be careful to realize that whatever personality “flaw” you have, that’s probably not just a flaw but sin.
God’s grace and forgiveness and God’s law for us is more powerful than our personality type. What I like and want to take away from the Enneagram is best summarized here:
Yes, the great Christian theologians have talked about the importance of knowing oneself. Calvin, for example, is cited as one who argued for the necessity of self-discovery (15). True, Calvin argues that we must know ourselves to know God, but what we must know is our “shaming nakedness” which exposes “a teeming horde of infirmities.” Knowledge of self is indispensable because from “the feeling of our own ignorance, vanity, poverty, infirmity” we can recognize “that the true light of wisdom, sound virtue, full abundance of every good, and purity of righteousness rest in the Lord alone” (Inst. I.1.i).Enneagram: The Road Back to You, Or to Somewhere Else?
So go ahead and take an Enneagram test if you so desire. Especially if you want to learn what areas you are gifted or weak in when choosing a career path. It can shed some interesting light on understanding why you do the things you do, as it has for me. But let’s just leave it at that and move on and remember that Scripture has more authority over our lives than a 12 minute personality test. Remember that, there is a large portion of the world that does not have the luxury of personality tests and many people do not have much of a choice as to what career path they end up in. This is very much a First World problem and it’s good to remember that. No matter where you are, what you’re doing or what country you’re in, a personality test or a specific vocation is not the end all be all of our existence, it is loving and serving God in His Kingdom.
Thank you for reading. Next week, I am going to share a funny story about a history class I was in. So subscribe with your email so you don’t miss it! Facebook might crash again, who knows. I don’t want to lose you!