Using the Enneagram as a Tool for Spiritual Growth

Using the Enneagram as a Tool for Spiritual Growth

If you’ve been around Christian circles lately, chances are you’ve heard about the Enneagram (pronounced any-uh-gram). You may have been asked, “Hey, what’s your number?” Or maybe you’ve been typed by someone, and they’ve exclaimed, “Ugh, you’re such a 3!”

While dozens are flocking to the Enneagram, others are wondering, isn’t it just like every other personality test? Our culture is obsessed with BuzzFeed articles, personality tests, and Meyers-Brigg letters. Amidst this culture of quizzes and profiles, the Enneagram is often dismissed as “Just another personality test.” While many personality tests provide surface-level results that often aren’t worth our time, the Enneagram has a much deeper value. When used appropriately, the Enneagram can be used as a tool for tremendous spiritual growth.

So, what exactly is the Enneagram? It’s an ancient personality typing system with 9 different core types, designated with the numbers 1-9. Each type has a different set of nuances and variations as well. Here are the 9 types:

Type 1 – The Reformer

Type 2 – The Helper

Type 3 – The Achiever

Type 4 – The Individualist

Type 5 – The Investigator

Type 6 – The Loyalist

Type 7 – The Enthusiast

Type 8 – The Challenger

Type 9 – The Peacemaker

What’s different about the Enneagram is that it doesn’t focus as much on what you do, but rather, what drives you. So, for example, Type 1’s are driven by a desire to be good, and Type 2’s are driven by a desire to feel loved. What the Enneagram does so powerfully is shone a light on the motivations that drive us, that we are oftentimes unaware of.

In his book The Road Back to You, Ian Cron explains how each type is often drawn to particular sin patterns. For example, Type 5’s are drawn to greed, while Type 4’s are drawn to envy. By developing an awareness of our inclinations and motivations, we are able to intentionally take steps towards Jesus and the life He is calling us to. Psalm 119:59 echoes this truth. It says, “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” In addition, Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”

While some can use the Enneagram as a means of self-help and self-absorption, it can be a helpful tool when kept in its rightful place. The Enneagram was made by man, therefore it has flaws. Scripture is the only place we can go for unchanging absolute Truth. We must keep this in mind with every book, podcast, personality test, and sermon that we listen to or read. Everything should be viewed through the lens of Scripture, and if it does not agree with Scripture, then it is incorrect.

While not every book or teaching on the Enneagram is biblically accurate, there are several resources that provide tremendous help in spiritual growth based on your number. My caution is to hold up every resource to Scripture, understand that there is a nuance to the Enneagram and it is simply a guideline, and to use the Enneagram as a tool to grow closer to Jesus. If you are using the Enneagram and instead feel as though you are walking away from the truth of Scripture, I would urge you to stop or find a Biblical counselor to walk through the Enneagram with you.

So if you haven’t explored the Enneagram, I highly encourage you to do so! It’s very eye-opening and can be used as a great tool for spiritual formation. There are Enneagram tests online, but the results can vary based on how you answer different questions, which can be affected by your mood or any number of things. In my opinion, a better way to determine your type is to read through the type descriptions on The Enneagram Institute’s website. After reading through the types, you will most likely have a really good idea of which type you are. After discovering your type, continue to investigate your type. Use what you learn to walk closer to Jesus, falling hard on His grace, and continuing to be renewed in Him.

Written by Leah Maasen

Leah lives in Midwest America with her husband and labradoodle puppy. She has a master’s degree in Christian Ministry, and enjoys writing about Jesus and life in His Kingdom. In her free time, Leah and her husband enjoy roasting their own coffee, reading, and eating at new Farm-to-Table restaurants.

6 Comments

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  1. Hello Ron,
    Thanks for the comment! The point of the article was using the man-made enneagram as a tool for spiritual growth, much like you would any other Christian themed book written today. I did not equate the enneagram to Scripture, and actually said quite the opposite. I wrote, “While some can use the Enneagram as a means of self-help and self-absorption, it can be a helpful tool when kept in its rightful place. The Enneagram was made by man, therefore it has flaws. Scripture is the only place we can go for unchanging absolute Truth. We must keep this in mind with every book, podcast, personality test, and sermon that we listen to or read. Everything should be viewed through the lens of Scripture, and if it does not agree with Scripture, then it is incorrect.”

    • Then I have to ask you why did you write that? The church is already deceived. Explain there is no furtherance of spirituality. Spirituality does not exist unless you are going in Eastern mysticism. Christ is a plain vanilla wrapper. It you look at first century gods and goddesses you will find out how immoral the culture was at that time. Christ was walking in darkness. If the creator wanted us to believe in spirituality or numerology it would have been in the New Testament just saying be careful what you say. Love you as a fellow Christian.

    • My point to you would be do not enable the darkness by bring it to light.
      You have a lot of fledgling Christians trying to find there way to Jerusalem. We do not give light to darkness. Perhaps this clarifies my stance.

    • Who is Christ?

      I have been sitting here pondering that question. First of all you have prosperity theology and then we have the theology of evangelicals to turn your back on sin. Then we have the new one I guess something called Enneagram as a tool for spirituality. Seriously! Christ did not preach spirituality but an adherence to the commandments. How you get spirituality out of the Word is beyond me. We all want something to motivate us toward a certain plateau . I understand that . However that is not enmeshed in reality.

      I come across a young lady a couple of days ago and she was talking about sin and quoted scripture ie, look at the plank in our own eye before we judge someone. We are to turn our back on sin and not say anything to the person in sin. Her premise was wrong in the context that , that particular scripture was talking to the Pharisees and not the gentile. Paul talks to the gentle. She was equating that scripture to pertain to all gentiles and that is not the case. For the most part Christ was talking to the Pharisees and not the gentiles. Paul talks more to the gentile and thier walk with Christ.

      When dealing on the internet and we ascribe to a certain belief. We have to keep in mind that there are children in Christ trying to learn. If we bring light to darkness on the internet then we are wrong. All judgements are regulated to a one on one conversation.

      People miss the point in the Bible if you teach someone a wrong doctrine then the blood of their sins are on your shoulders and yours alone. You have to be careful what you say and what you tell others.

      American Churches have become pompous. I would like to see any of these so called sheppards to cross the border in Mexico or any of the other poor countries and live there under these circumstances for years and explain how Christ is in their lives. All the churches do is build a better mousetrap to capture the hurting people out there. Then they wonder why their membership is declining. The only reason is that they lie about Christ. I see the younger generation gravitating towards the latest appetizers that crosses their tongues. You ask any young person where Christ lives. That cannot tell you. Who is Christ? They cannot tell you.
      But if you ask them what church is all about. You are going to get a basic answer.. They have songs, then they want money, then they say something about the scriptures. Me I would be asking, tell me about Christ. Who is he ? Where does he Live? The last time I asked a youngster where Christ lived he pointed to the heavens. Sorry wrong answer. This is why so many people do not understand that sins are forgiven. The Holy Roman Church and the American Churches put Christ out of reach to the average person. That is why they cannot comprehend that Christianity is simple, Love God as you love your neighbor, paraphrasing. There is no spirituality in that commandment, nothing you have to do but treat others as you want them to treat you.

      The American churches send you down a rabbit hole and everybody feels good. Go down to Laredo and look across the Rio Grande and look at the housing situation. Look at the government that has been corrupted for hundreds of years. The poor cannot defend themselves they took away all the firearms. The murder rates are high and the innocent die every day.
      People are starving in Mexico and America and around the world. Christ requires responsibility. Nonetheless your paradise and freedom lies in Christ and that is what should be preached.

      Is this righteous angry! Yes. Americas Christians the ones that know the Truth have keep silent. America is like Christ the Pharisees have convicted America and are crucifying her the Cross and the blood is dripping.

      So to the Evangelicals that believe turn your back on sin and to the prosperity believers and to the other forms of Christianity. Your blood is dripping along with America because you sat in dumb silence and let it go.
      Because you listen to the Church instead of the voice of your Lord.

      Like I said all you pompous christians go down to Mexico and eat what they eat, use the bathroom like they do, wash like they do and live in squalor. Then come back to me with your pompous sayings and the ability to write scripture. Clothe yourself with there clothes.

      I am not a progressive socialist christian. I walk alone with Christ and understand the mechanisms of the devil. I help whoever Christ puts in path and seek no recognition. I understand Christ and life for my sunset is coming soon.

      Read your Bible and wash yourself in righteousness and dry yourself with the Truth.

      Love you bye for now.

    • I add my voice to other Christians who are lovingly warning you and your readers to stay away from the enneagram fad. It has its roots in the futility of neo-Platonism, coming out of Plotinus’ convoluted and circuitous rambling of thought which is full of words and leads to futility.

  2. Young lady you are going down a rabbit hole. Christianity is not a gimmick your sentence structure is great but your are missing the point of Christ and I surmise you do not understand the Bible. Numerology has nothing to do with our salvation. I see you have a masters degree in something but you are missing common sense. You think that you have come across something new? All prophesy ended in 70 AD. There is nothing new except the sane word s of Christ. Be Careful what you say. Look at the Old Testament for guidance and look at hermeneutics the interpretations of the scriptures. I know you mean well but look at the scriptures real close. Lov you take care.

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