As I was falling asleep the other night, I wrote this poem-ish thing to God. Yes, the triune God of the Bible–the one you and I both know. I admit my title may have been a bit of a click-bait ploy to get my non-enneagram loving friends to actually read this, if only to look for ways to call me out on my obsession or to criticize the enneagram itself for going too far.
And if this is heretical, please do call me out (I know my obsession with the enneagram makes its way uninvited into too many conversations).
But this is important (to me, at least). If you tend to focus on the negatives of the Enneagram or on the negative things it brings to light in us, please let me remind you that we are made in the image of God. And by learning about the Enneagram we can learn more about people, and by learning more about people we can learn more about God. And vice versa, all the ways.
So here’s just a little taste (for you anti’s or newbies) of the Enneagram from a Christian perspective–not for the sake of sanctification here, but for the sake of worship. This is my love song to God and to God’s people, all at once.
Like a One, you are so holy, faithful, truth itself. You hold us up to your standard. And even though the world has been broken since we were born, we can still somehow picture impossible perfection because we know you.
Like a friend you want me to share. And like a Two you care most that I keep coming back to your love ‘cause you know it’s the best there is to offer. So you’re gentle and patient and understanding.
Like a Three, you won’t stop until your name is the greatest and knees bow down and everyone wants to be like you. In every culture, you are King. Respect weeps at your feet and we pour the perfume of our values on your crown.
Like a Four, you want only our sincerity–not our best face forward. You know uniquely and desire, more than anything–for us to know you, knowing that’s near impossible. We’ll both still spend eternity trying.
And like a Five, you pride yourself in knowing silly things like strands of hair and the name of every star. And sometimes I think you’re shy, but you’re probably in there, happy dreaming of new clever ways to work things out.
Like a Six, your love is a promise, marriage, family–not just sacrificial but everyday kindness. You are a hug and a home, keeping us strong and safe and sure of something.
And like a Seven, you do things differently every time, and all for the sake of the most exciting story. You keep us with our fingers on the corners of the page, and help us to live the letters boldly. You won’t just let me sit comfortably.
Like an Eight, you hate hypocrisy. You show me that there’s always more I don’t see and you want me to start becoming who I could be.
Like a Nine, sometimes it’s hard to tell your voice from mine. It’s so quiet and so one-with-me. You actually became one of us so you could understand us better and so that we could start to grasp how you think, too. You are the great Mediator, and the Prince of making peace.
Back to y’all now, my readers. I want you to know I love all of you more than I love my very limited knowledge of who you are as your type (if that makes sense). But I also want you to know (especially you Ennea-lovers) that I’ve been intentionally trying to learn and appreciate more about each type, sometimes literally writing out lists like, “things I love about type fours” or “type eights are really great at…” There’s so much I’m learning to love about people who are different from me, who I might not have been able to understand before.
George Box, a statistician, said, “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” I’m a big fan of analogies, but I understand the wariness toward any kind of system that attempts to “Box in” the beautiful complexity of reality (see what I did there?). And I’m not trying to convince anyone, really. Just here to explain how my love for the Enneagram ties into my love for all of you Image-bearers. I can start to see you maybe just a little bit clearer, and that is so exciting.
I hear a lot of bloggers use the phrase, “trying to start a conversation.” That’s not really why I’m here. But I do love to talk about God and the enneagram, so if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on either, feel free to reach out to me.
Meanwhile, here’s at least one link to get you started: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
God bless your mess ❤