I’ve been reading Marilyn Vancil’s book, Self to Lose, Self to Find: A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types. Let me first start off by saying that I love the Enneagram. An age old personality typology, making a comeback in the world right now, it has given me language for why I feel the way I feel, has helped me relate to my closest people, and has helped me learn how to lead those around me.
I can’t tell you how many “now that makes sense” moments I’ve had over the past year.
I was originally introduced to the Enneagram through Beth McCord’s course called “Discovering You” over at www.yourenneagramcoach.com. The base level course is intriguing, sometimes hard to swallow (about yourself obviously), and easy to unpack.
Basically, (whoever discovered the Enneagram), believes there are 9 “types” all given a number (1-9). Each number is distinct in the way it process the world, where it goes under stress, how it views the future, etc. There are wings and sub-types and I’m sure you could spend a lifetime diving deeper and analyzing all the aspects of this one personality typology.
But we could get lost there. We could get lost in “this is why I do what I do”. We could get lost in the excuses for why we think and act the way we do. Maybe it is nature. Maybe it is nurture. Maybe it’s a learned habit or something that happened to us. Maybe we are a golden retriever or a beaver. Maybe it’s INFJ or ENFP. Maybe we are a 2 or a 3 or a 7 on the Enneagram.
But I don’t think that’s the point of any of this information. Which is why I love Vancil’s Self to Lose, Self to Find. Because if I’m being really honest about who I am and how I want to live in this world, then I have to be willing to look at myself, but also willing to work for healing and transformation. Vancil says, “Our inner life matters because this is where true transformation takes place” (xvi). She goes on to state that the overall theme of the Enneagram is, “experiencing freedom: freedom from old self into the true self, freedom to live fully and love deeply” (xx).
Her belief is that this specific personality typology exposes our weaknesses and shines light on our strengths all to point us to Jesus and, “He invites us to pursue the great treasure hunt of finding our very selves in Him” (46).
It’s the 21st century. There are many tools at our disposal to know ourselves and to know the people around us. Some tell us how good we are. Some tell us how bad we are. Some remind us that we will never have enough energy and some tell us we don’t play well with others. But all of those knowings are for naught if we aren’t looking to find our true selves in Jesus.
He is the greatest treasure.
I want to lose myself in Jesus. And I want to find myself in Him, too.