What is the Enneagram?
Before we ask such a big “should” question, let’s talk about what it actually is. You probably already know this, but the Enneagram is a personality typing system (think DISC, Typefinder, Myers-Briggs). People can learn more about how they relate with other people, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and much more.
Some of the benefits of the Enneagram include:
- Self-awareness. Our personalities influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions. The more we know about ourselves, the more we can pin-point areas in our lives that need growth. Speaking of…
- Personal growth. You can’t work on what you don’t yet recognize. The Enneagram helps us see where we need to develop, grow in new skills, pursue maturity, and reach out for help.
- Improving relationships. If you know, you know! Growing in understanding yourself and learning to understand others helps us communicate better and love others better. The Enneagram can help us know what our own needs are and those of others. It is a tool in the toolbelt of communication that can aid us in finding solutions for conflict and difficulties.
- Professional growth. The Ennegram isn’t just for personal relationships. It can also help us learn how our personality type functions at work and areas that need to be trained and honed to be a better co-worker and team member.
You can find tests online and there are lots of great books on the enneagram such as More Than Your Number by Beth & Jeff McCord, How We Relate by Jesse Eubanks, The Journey Home by Meredith Boggs, The Enneagram Collection books by Beth McCord, A Book Called You by Matthew Stephen Brown.
What are the Enneagram types
- Type one: The Perfectionist
- Type two: The Helper
- Type three: The Achiever
- Type four: The Individualist
- Type five: The Investigator
- Type six: The Loyalist
- Type seven: The Enthusiast
- Type eight: The Challenger
- Type nine: The Peacemaker
Should Christians Study the Enneagram?
You might be asking yourself questions like:
Is it a bunch of hocus pocus?
Is it the same thing as reading tea leaves or believing in the horoscope?
Studying the Enneagram is like using any other tool. It’s not inherently evil or good. It’s something, like everything else, that can be misused by Christians or used for God’s good purposes.
One other benefit of the Enneagram is:
- Spiritual Growth! Knowing ourselves better can draw us closer to God and help us be more in tune with the Holy Spirit. Becoming cognizant of weak areas of our hearts and minds can enlighten us about areas where we might be prone to missing the mark. Knowing our positive traits can give us insight about how we can serve and develop in a community of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ.
Personally, I’m an Enneagram two.
My relationship with one of my kids was challenging (to say the least) from the time she was just a teeny tiny one. If I zigged, it seemed like she always zagged. If I zagged, she zigged. I had such a hard time understanding her mode of communication and she couldn’t get mine either. Several years ago, we discovered the Enneagram and both found it super interesting… Our relationship improved drastically once we understood where the other was coming from! When I understood her 8-need and she grasped by 2-ness, it was a huge A-ha season for us both!
Can 5’s get along with 9’s? Yes!
Can 1’s have happy marriages with 7’s? Yes!
The Enneagram isn’t about finding out who is bad and who is good. There aren’t “bad” types. We all have our great traits and areas that need work and submission to and guidance from the Holy Spirit. That’s the point! The more we understand what our personality tendencies (strengths and weaknesses) are, the better we are able to love others with the love of Jesus. And, the more we understand others’ personality tendencies, the better we are at having compassion on and understanding them, too.
Do you want to learn more about the Enneagram?
Check out these titles by Christian authors.
More Than Your Number by Beth & Jeff McCord, How We Relate by Jesse Eubanks, The Journey Home by Meredith Boggs, The Enneagram Collection books by Beth McCord, A Book Called YOU by Matthew Stephen Brown.
Should Christians Use the Enneagram? (Beth & Jeff McCord)
Take an assessment here on Your Enneagram Coach.
Be sure to listen to the Enneacast Podcast with Jesse Eubanks, author of How We Relate.
Watch this video on A Different Approach to Enneagram with Beth and Jeff McCord.
Watch this interview with Meredith Boggs, author of The Journey Home.