What Should Christians Know About Enneagram Types?

In the last few decades, the Enneagram Test has become a prominent alternative to the Myers & Briggs personality test. The Enneagram Theory proposes there are 9 motivating factors that determine our basic personality.

  • Type 1: The Need to Be Perfect
  • Type 2: The Need to Be Needed
  • Type 3: The Need to Succeed
  • Type 4: The Need to Be Special
  • Type 5: The Need to Understand
  • Type 6: The Need to Be Sure
  • Type 7: The Need to Avoid Pain
  • Type 8: The Need to Control
  • Type 9: The Need to Be Accepted
Christians Enneagram

It is often our insecurities and unfulfilled needs that drive the way we think and act. The Enneagram Personality Theory demonstrates this well. As imperfect humans, we try to fill our unmet needs and hide our insecurities through the character and personality we form growing up.

The Enneagram Test shows us our inner motives, fears, and desires. It then tries to teach us how to improve our strengths and avoid the more negative traits that result from our insecurities.

Should I Use the Enneagram Test?

While the Enneagram Types are a secular way of dealing with the sinful nature of man, it can be a useful tool that points us to God’s grace and transformative power.

Man reacts to sin with Fear. When Adam and Eve first sinned, they hid from God, ashamed of what they had done. This is exactly what the Enneagram Types show us as well. They describe the different ways we all use to hide our imperfections, afraid that others will not accept us as we are.

So while the Enneagram Theory shows us our flaws and attempts to teach us how to overcome them in our own understanding, Christians can think of the theory as a reminder for our need of a savior.

1 Jn. 4:18-19 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” (ESV)

Perfect love is the only way we can overcome our fears. All other human methods only succeed in hiding or burying fear. But when we truly come to understand God’s love for us, that He willingly died for us so that we could be redeemed to Him, that is when we are able to leave our fears, our pains, and our past behind.

Use The Enneagram Types as a Starting Line--Not a Box

So don’t be afraid to use the Enneagram Test as a starting point. It’s good to know our strengths and weaknesses. But don’t let the Enneagram Types put you in a box and make you think you have to stay there.

Let’s say the Enneagram Test categorizes you as a Type 6. One of the potential flaws of Type 6 is they tend to worry and look at things negatively. If you say, “Yeah, that’s me,” then instead of trying to fix it on your own or thinking “that’s just how I am,” pick up your Bible and find out how God wants you to overcome this flaw. His Word is our guide!

Sources:

What is the 'Enneagram,' and why are Christians suddenly so enamored by it?

How the Enneagram Can Point You to God

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