The Enneagram is the rage, but most people don’t know how to use it.
We coach pastors, leaders, and church groups in their personal growth and ministry effectiveness and the Enneagram is the best personality assessment tool we’ve seen. That’s why we’re doing a whole series of podcasts and blogs on its spiritual and psychological benefits.
Here are seven benefits of the Enneagram that most people miss:
1. Appreciating God’s Presence
Many Enneagram teachers focus on spirituality, but not on our relationship with Christ. Sadly, even some Christian speakers do this. One of the talks we give is “The Nine Faces of Christ in the Enneagram.” Using examples from the Gospels, we show how Jesus embodies each personality type in its perfection.
The primary reason to learn any personality system is to grow in our love for the Lord Jesus and learn from him how to better serve God with our lives.
2. Soul Awareness
At social gatherings, we may like to talk about differences in personality preferences and characteristics. That’s fun and you can do that with the Enneagram, but it’s just scratching the surface.
The theory of the Enneagram is that our personality has been malformed by sin, pain, stress, and defense mechanisms. We are bent away from God’s loving presence. We have come up with our own self-help solution for life and it’s not working. We don’t see what we’re doing and are stuck in destructive habits.
By relying on the Spirit of Jesus through the ancient wisdom of the Enneagram, we can grow in God’s grace. For each type, there are levels of health and unhealth.
3. Learning Your Basic Emotional Posture
Every type denies its core emotional problem with either anger, shame, or anxiety. Even if you have healthy self-awareness of your feelings, often you’re probably not in touch with your core emotion or your underlying sadness over losses and deficits you’ve experienced.
Being able to put words to your feelings and receive empathy improves your relationships and productivity. It invigorates your experience of God’s loving presence and wisdom.
4. Godly Sorrow For Your Sin Pattern
The origins of the Enneagram go back to Evagrius, a Christian monk in the 4th Century who identified the deadly sins in human nature. The Enneagram unpacks nine root sins which form nine personality types. We need God’s forgiveness, grace, and power through faith in Christ to be healed of our destructive patterns and be transformed into the image of Jesus.
5. Calming Your Stress Reaction
When you know your type, the Enneagram predicts how you’ll react in stress. In difficult situations, we all have an unconscious habit of incorporating another number’s weaknesses. Once we become aware of this, then we can make better choices to stay tuned in to God’s loving presence.
6. Appreciating Your Growth Opportunity
The Enneagram also recommends a path of growth for you by identifying another type’s “face of Christ” that you especially need to learn from. Incorporating the strengths of this type is a way of relying on God’s grace to be your best self.
7. Empathy For Other People
We have to be careful with personality typing, especially with the power of the Enneagram. It’s hurtful if we use our knowledge to judge people or tell them what their type is. It’s better to encourage them to discover their type by “trying on” a few types until they find the one that fits best.
If we use the Enneagram in a Christlike way, then we offer empathy and grace to other people in their type.
It’s worth it to learn your Enneagram Type.
Many people, even some Enneagram trainers, use the theory that you can be three or more types. Yes, each of us has aspects of a few or even all of the nine types, but it’s confusing to be more than one personality! If you settle on the one type that best describes you, then your unique Enneagram Map and its benefits will open up to you.
Download our free coaching tool, “Finding Your Enneagram Type.”