In early 2018, I had my first encounter with the enneagram when reading Ian Cron’s book, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery (with Suzanne Stabile). I had been hearing different things about the enneagram, but when I saw the pentagram-looking chart that was used, I shied away. It sounded too new age and mystical, which didn’t appeal to me as a Christian.
Knowing Your Personality Type
Learning about the different personality types has always intrigued me. When I was a senior in my Christian high school (back in the 80s), our staff counselor had us read one of Tim LaHaye’s books: Why You Act the Way You Do. We had a class that that met once a week, discussing each chapter.
Tim LaHaye is one of the pioneers in the theory of temperament blends. By blending four types: Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholy, and Choleric, you can improve yourself by identifying your own personality strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your temperament helps you discover the specific gifts God has given you and guide you in future relationships and work environments.
A more current assessment of LaHaye’s four personalities is the popular Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself by Florence Littauer. Her other books extend the conversation to parents, couples, and the workplace. After reading Personality Plus ten years ago, it created a renewed interest in personalities. I wanted to know more.
When working in the corporate world, I was introduced to other personality evaluations, such as the DISC Assessment and the Myers Briggs 16 Personalities. Many organizations use these assessments to promote self-awareness and create better teamwork.
Reading this book by Ian Cron (he has since written another) explained how the enneagram is another means of personality assessment, like the DISC and Myers Briggs. Similar to other assessments, this tool allows you to go deeper and helps discover who you are and why you do what you do.
Christians and the Enneagram
Many Christians believe that the enneagram originated with the occult and should be avoided. It is also like numerology, a psychic tool, and Christians should not be getting their divine guidance from it.
For me, I have found the enneagram to simply be another tool that helps me discover how I tick. Just like Tim LaHaye’s book, it spotlights my strengths and weaknesses, and tells me where I need work.
As a Christian, the Bible, along with the Holy Spirit, are my main life guides, regardless of what I read or what the world tells me. Whenever I see deficits in my life, it is the Bible where I go to learn what God wants me to do. As believers, anything we have questions about should be held up to the truth of God’s Word. If there is conflict, then the Bible has the last word.
As for the enneagram, it can be seen as just one tool to learn about the human construct. The different personalities were created by God and instilled in each of us to be different. Those differences are what God uses to fulfill His purposes. If the enneagram is used solely for the purpose of finding a divine guidance that doesn’t come from God, then it is not being used for good.
Where to Learn About the Enneagram
For a better perspective on the enneagram, I did extensive reading and listened to several podcasts. I identify as an Enneagram 9 (The Peacekeeper), with an 8 wing (Advisor). If you are already into the enneagram, you know where I’m coming from. If not, you can try one of these free enneagram tests to get an idea of what type you may be:
If you are curious about the enneagram, I have listed my resources to help you begin your research. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t recognize your enneagram number right away. Sometimes it takes time, but once you discover your number, everything seems to fall into place. Concentrate on learning your number first, and “wings” later.
Look for these wherever you listen to podcasts:
Typology with Ian Cron
The Enneagram Journey with Suzanne Stabile
Your Enneagram Coach with Beth & Jeff McCord
Enneagram & Coffee with Sarahjane Case
Y0u can also read my posts that have to do with being an Enneagram 9:
How I Learned to Manage Conflict with a Negative Parent
How Procrastinators (and Enneagram 9s) Should Plan Their New Year Resolutions