This is not a soap box. This is merely a suggestion. Theories of personality can be helpful tools. I confess, the study of types has always been interesting to me. Myers-Briggs was always the best one, in my opinion. Until recently. A good friend recommended these two books about the Enneagram. Having never heard the word “Enneagram” before, I was curious. I read the books two or three times and recommended them to others. Even my “OBX girlfriends” and I agreed to read them before our April trip. Great discussion material…

As I age, I really really want to be characterized by the visible quality that comes from the refining and crushing process of doing God’s will during my lifetime. I want it to be obvious that I have lived for Him. The alternative of living a listless, self-indulgent, and useless life will end without any visible quality. I just don’t want that at all.

I draw much encouragement from Psalm 93:12-15: “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.’ ”

The Enneagram books, workshops, podcasts, and conversations have given me plenty to think about along these lines. Mainly, in regard to family dynamics. The 9 types have given me a new appreciation for the various members of my family in a way that nothing else has. I am grateful. If for no other reason than I have developed a level of empathy regarding people who do not see the world the way I do. And I could never figure out why…

More importantly, the study has pointed the finger at my heart. Thankfully, the two books pictured are written from a Christian worldview and suggest the sin problem that particularly besets each type. I found this to be “right on” in my case. This exposure has had the desired effect. I want to address this sin problem and inhabit the true self that God intended me to be. This requires coming face to face with God’s grace and actively rejecting the false self.

I am a “5” out of the 9 types. There are currently no other fives in my family, except possibly one granddaughter. I feel like everything, especially family dynamics, I previously saw in black and white. And now, I am seeing things in vivid color. The Enneagram study is not the “be all, end all” by any means, but it is definitely a path to help me age well and realize that there is so much more that God wants to do in my life…

Romans 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

In context, these are scriptural instructions for the Christian community, of which I am gratefully a part. Within the community, there are different levels of faith – ranging from weak to strong. But, there are also different levels of type… Typology adds a rich dimension to these instructions that I find very helpful. Maybe you will too.




  1. Ok I give up. What’s a 5…and what am I and now that we’re labeled what are we supposed to do with it. >


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