Anyone else really love the Enneagram?
I’m a big fan of this thing—I really love the ways it helps highlight and offer explanations for some of our experiences and motivations.
If you don’t know what the Enneagram is, it is a personality test of sorts (although it is more advanced than that) made up of 9 different types of basic personality. (You can also click here for something that goes a lot more in-depth on explaining!)
Now, as much as I love this tool, it is unbelievably easy to cross lines with how we use and engage with it.
We need to be vigilant in the way we use it as an additional tool that God has given us as a gift, not as God or the actual Voice of God.
I know it sounds kind of funny that we would ever confuse the Enneagram with God, and in our cognitive thinking, I don’t think we do, but in our actions and interactions with the Enneagram, it can be unbelievably easy to shift our use of the Enneagram from that of a tool to an authority. Using something like this as an authority is dangerous because then, when the type we identify with doesn’t seem to perfectly match up with our experiences and identity, we can launch into an identity crisis about something that wasn’t meant to make up our identities in the first place!
One of the things I have found to be helpful in unpacking the Enneagram is looking at it as an identifier but not the identity.
Our true identity can only be found and rooted in God’s Love for us—and although the Enneagram is great for understanding more about ourselves, it is not Scripture, therefore it doesn’t bare the same sacredness as Scripture.
Another thing I have noticed about the use of the Enneagram is how easily it has been weaponized. Now, not everyone does this—in fact, most people don’t! However, it can easily be used to hurt people, whether intentionally or unintentionally. One of the ways I’ve seen it most commonly used to hurt others is self-inflicted! Obsession over the Enneagram often leads to frustration and identity crisis because it was never meant to take the place of our identity, only offer us some insight and information about things we may not have observed or understood before.
When we come across a tool like this, whether the Enneagram or otherwise, the most critical thing to approach it with is whether or not it is being used, not as the platform, but on the platform of Scriptural Truth and the Voice of God in our lives. The Gospels don’t say, “The Enneagram was with God and the Enneagram was God,” they say, “The Word [Jesus] was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the ultimate authority over our lives.
All that to say, the Enneagram is a great tool, that I highly encourage using and investing time into in the right and healthy way, which is on a Scriptural foundation and not associated as the true core of your identity but as a supplemental means of learning to understand ourselves and those around us.